Ravine Lereux

Unearthing a Family Curse
Narrated by: Amy Handelman
Length: 50 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Olivia and Edward Lereux live a quiet life with their chocolate border collie Axel in a picturesque cottage flanked by Maine’s blustery cliffs, far from town and people. Outwardly, their lives appear normal, but they’re not ordinary people. The Lereux family is cursed with something that has claimed their ancestors for many years.

When Ravine Lereux receives a distressing letter from her Uncle Edward, she must return to a place she swore never to return - a place that’s haunted by something, an abnormal presence she feared as a child. 

Now, she must face it again. As she races to the aid of her aunt and uncle, she makes an unsettling discovery about herself and her family.

©2018 E. Denise Billups (P)2019 E. Denise Billups

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

"Ravine Lereux" by Denise E. Billups a must read

A very good story that kept me intrigued and excited to the very end! It is very well written, and the suspense is exhilarating. Once you start reading, guaranteed you won't stop until finished! Put this great story by E. Denise Billups on your list to read for sure!

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Supernatural, Haunting, Thrilling

Ravine Lereux is a short story published in 2019 by E. Denise Billups. I've previously read two of her full-length novels, and I have her third on my Kindle to read this spring. Before diving into that last one, I decided to sample one of her short stories, hence today's review. There are lots of ways to categorize this one, including dark fiction, Gothic, reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, fantasy / paranormal, creepy, intense, lyrical... in the end, it was such an amazing read, I can't decide which attribute to highlight the most. So... I'll just say it was fantabulesome (fantastic, fabulous & awesome).

To begin with, I should say I listened to this story. It is 50 minutes long on audiobook, but given how short it was, and my unfamiliarity with this format, it made sense to start here. The narrator was excellent; she mastered the pacing and tone, provided distinct voices, added edge to story's unfolding drama, and kept me motivated to listen. I will say one thing though... as good as the narrator is, I honestly think this is the type of story you should read before listening to it. Billups has a highly adept way with words... lyrical is the best way to describe them, but it goes much further and I'm not even sure I can explain how.

Her vocabulary is astronomical. She's chosen words that make you see, hear, or feel what the word means. Her writing style leaps off the page and pulls you into the tale as if you're experiencing it... and this is exactly why I would recommend reading it first, then listening to it. So often, phrases would echo in my ear and I was caught up thinking about them. I had to stop and rewind to catch what I missed, as it was all too intriguing. When an author can do that, you know she's mega-talented.

I enjoyed the plot very much too. Given it's a short story, and you already have a description, all I'll say is that it's told from the POV of 2 characters, Olivia and her niece, Ravine. They have an obsession with birds (not in a bad way) and as the story unfolds, you will learn why. You can't help but feel the similarities with the style of Poe's The Raven, and this I mean as a compliment. The stories are nothing alike, but you will feel similar things.

The story had a bit of a personal connection, as it takes place around Bar Harbor, Maine. I was just there in the fall, and so it was easy to picture the drive from NH to Maine and visualize the cliffs. Ravine must discover a secret, always one of my favorite plot themes, and she is dark and light all at once -- another reason I love a book or tale. So... you definitely can't go wrong with this one. If you have about an hour of available reading time and you're eager to read a book again and again to understand and rave about all the layers, this is your next read!

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I love it!

A fantastic short story with just the right amount of moody details and dark atmosphere. I’ve read the story and love the new layer it achieves with the narrator adding her dramatic voice. I especially enjoyed “The Onyx Creature.” Can’t wait for the next one!