I am thrilled that Sarah Langan's Audrey's Door has won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel! Langan certainly deserves this honor.
Audrey's Door is a chilling read about cults and architecture reminiscent of Rosemary's Baby. Audrey Lucas runs from a painful childhood, a bi-polar mother, a demanding job, and a fiance, right into the welcoming arms of the Breviary, an old Manhattan apartment building with a questionable history of tenant suicides and murders. But the rent is cheap and the deal too good to pass up.
The incestuous, elderly, trust fund baby tenants of the Breviary need a door to the Other Side built, and through new rental trial and error they're closer than ever to seeing it happen. The tenant before Audrey got close, but her door wasn't finished because of a tragedy that struck her and her children. The elderly clan who run the Breviary are creepy, watchful, and "selfish as the day is long" to quote Minnie Castevet from Rosemary's Baby.
Slowly Audrey begins losing touch with reality and wakes feeling battered and bruised. Her breakdown is brought on by fevered and exhausting dreams about building a door...to where? And what wants to come through it? Is she working too hard? Is it her OCD? As her past and present fuse together, what or whom will she sacrifice to give the tenants what they desire?
Through the smallest of details Sarah Langan builds upon the layers of her secondary characters, making Audrey's Door believable and horrifying. Even Audrey's boyfriend Saraub and his mother are treated as fully-fleshed characters and not mere tools to move the plot along. This book has made me a Langan fan.
Winners of the 2009 Bram Stoker Awards are:
Best Novel: Audrey's Door by Sarah Langan
Best First Novel: Damnable by Hank Schwaeble
Best Long Fiction: The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton
Best Short Fiction: "In the Porches of My Ears," by Norman Prentiss
Best Anthology: He is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson edited by Christopher Conlon
Best Collection: A Taste of Tenderloin by Gene O'Neill
Best Non-Fiction: Writers Workshop of Horror by Michael Knost
Best Poetry: Chimeric Machines by Lucy A. Snyder
Books not owned by libraries in the Jefferson County Library Cooperative might be available for check out through the Interlibrary Department