6. The Sentinel – Jeffrey Konvitz

There’s this model – I pictured Katharine Ross because I thought I was reading the book version of that movie with the cat head coming out of a hand on the cover (The Legacy) but The Sentinel has its own film version – and she moves in to this brownstone. She has issues with both her religion and her father and her father died and she left Indiana for New York City and now she has this boyfriend who vacillates between creepily invested in her issues and avoidant and she wanted to move out so she found the apartment in the brownstone. Some super creepy people live in the building and she spends a lot of time fixing the apartment to her liking and ragging on the paintings the owner or previous tenants had chosen (this was very odd to me, but no one really loves anyone else’s decor). It reminded me that it doesn’t seem like the altering and the “this is not to my liking in this tiny space owned by not me, have it painted” happens as much now – it’s kind of take it or leave it in the finding an apartment game these days- at least for me. I hate apartments but current finances and space availability won’t allow me and the pigs to have our own house; I would especially hate living in a building where people often came to my door, to me neighborly=spooky and if main character not-Katharine Ross aka Allison the model was like me, maybe things would have gone differently for her.

Anyway, Allison the model has headaches and dizzy spells and she gets stuck in that fun loop of “this is happening/oh no, that’s not really happening you must be nuts” that happens in horror stories. I thought she had been previously possessed and that’s why she didn’t want to tell her boyfriend about her childhood trauma because this book clearly links religion and horror and when I think adolescent religious horror, I think possession. Plus she keeps messing with her cross necklace and her boyfriend asks her why she’s wearing it and constantly badgers her about what happened with her father. I was wrong, but I wasn’t on board with the resolution to this story either. In theory, everyone wins, but also no one wins.

Apparently this was a bestselling novel. It also has one of the creepiest covers I’ve ever seen.

I read this book while waiting for a train to come in with Mr. Cheese on it and while waiting for an oil change and so I will always associate it with Union Station and Jiffy Lube and a never-ending winter.

Twiglet is hiding from the uber-creepy priest image on the cover of The Sentinel. It was a good choice not to use that same image as the movie poster and it really surprises me that something with that cover was a bestseller.


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