If you’re thinking of having children, this probably isn’t the book for you. But if you crave novels that will keep you up at night wondering about every noise in your house, then this is the book for you.
Alex and Leslie Twisden are New York socialites. Alex comes from a well-known and very wealthy family, who has lived in the same New York City mansion on the Upper East Side for over a century. Leslie would pass by the house on her way to work and admire it from the sidewalk, always wondering about its inhabitants. One morning, while taking her regular route to work, including a stop to gaze at the house, she meets Alex. It’s instant romance, but unfortunately, it’s not instant family. The two try everything that money --- and the imagination --- can buy without luck. Depressed and desperate, they get a tidbit of information about a doctor and possible new procedure that may be the answer to what they perceive as their childless problem.
"If you like horror and want something a little different to scare you this fall, possibly around Halloween, you will want to pick up this book."
Upon the recommendation of another couple, Alex and Leslie make an appointment with an unknown doctor in Slovenia. When they arrive, they find a small, dirty office with a very shady assistant who seems too interested in their money. Leslie balks at whatever procedure this doctor has in mind for the two of them. Alex persists; he’s the one in need of an heir to carry on the Twisden name and sees this as his last chance. After the procedure, the two return home to New York City, with Leslie pregnant. That’s when things begin to go wrong. What should be a happy time turns into a nightmare full of strange urges, cravings and thoughts. Even after healthy twins, Adam and Alice, are born, the Twisden family continues to fall deeper into the strange hole they stumbled into in a dark corner of Slovenia.
Adam and Alice are deemed good children by all who meet them. They attend an expensive private school by day and spend their nights in fear of their parents. Adam, who listens each night to his parents’ escapades on a stolen baby monitor, is convinced they want to eat them. He questions Alex and Leslie about why they need to be locked in their bedrooms at night. Alice learns not to get attached to any animal that comes in the house, knowing it won’t be around for very long. The strange and terrifying behavior persists until one day Adam and Alice decide to run away.
What starts out as a sad story of a husband and wife desperate for a child, willing to go to great lengths to conceive, ends up a story with cannibalistic overtones. Yes, it goes there, and along the way, every sound in your house will make you wonder if someone is creeping up the stairs.
BREED is an interesting book when you look past the scary bits. Alex and Leslie take a social and human slide, becoming almost feral creatures at the end, but ones who love their children very much, in their own creepy way. In the end, Leslie fights all her fears and cravings trying to do the right thing for her children. The twins are lost in an unbelievable mystery they can see no way out of, and it makes them wonder if they’ll be running for the rest of the lives to escape something they can’t understand.
If you like horror and want something a little different to scare you this fall, possibly around Halloween, you will want to pick up this book.
Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on September 13, 2013