The Girls of October is the debut novel of Josh Hancock and is told in one of the most unusual albeit strangely effective manners. The story is shared through fictional clippings of articles and interviews published by various means, each snippet a glimpse into the strange world of the books protagonist. This piece meal style of writing is just as unusual as the tale it tells about a girl named Beverly Dreger, a film student whose obsession with John Carpenter’s Halloween and classic horror helps her cope with all which has haunted her since childhood.
In late October a fire breaks out at a hospital, originating from the oxygen hood of a newborn baby. Although the fire was quickly ended, it was but the fiery beginning for baby Beverly Dreger. The Girls of October follows her story through numerous witness reports of Beverly’s tumultuous youth. From the death and disappearance of numerous children, to her mother’s violent descent into madness and even Beverly’s own writings, all intricately tied together in a story that is as sad as it is fascinating. Beverly, a character who has turned to fictional horror as a means to escape the actual horror is forced to come to terms with the dark secrets of her past, her family and? Herself.
Josh Hancock’s unique story telling paired with compelling story lines, unanticipated twists, and fascinating characters makes The Girls of October my favorite read this year. It’s rare lately I can pick up a story and not set it down due to life’s little distractions. From start to finish The Girls of October sank it’s claws into me and kept my interest through every page turn. Josh Hancock, an obvious horror fan stayed true to the terror and story telling that made the 1970’s horror films so engrossing, and translated it seamlessly to paper into one riveting and original story.