★ ★ ★ ★
I started reading this a few months ago and put it down because I wanted to read it in October because it is the perfect setting for horror. The story switches back and forth between the past and present while alternating between two characters, Ruth and Cora. I am typically not fond of dual narratives, but I actually enjoyed reading the two different timelines that move toward the same fate.
The prose in this is beautifully done, and Samantha Hunt has a poetic way with words that makes the story flow so smoothly. It’s a strange, haunting story that kept me captivated throughout all 322 pages. There is a lot going on in this story that is complex, but interesting with cults, con artists, ghosts, and mediums–that is only a bit of it! It was a slow pace, but as the pieces began to come together, it was all the more intriguing. It wasn’t just a sense of mystery, but overwhelming with the unknown because as a reader, we knew as much as Cora did along the way. Mr. Splitfoot was one of my top most anticipated reads of the year, and it lived up to that. It is a novel that I recommend whether it comes October or any time of the year, for that matter.
Ruth and Nat are orphans, packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their siblings, they channel the dead. Decades later, Ruth’s niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who — or what — has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road?
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.