When Maggie was six, she hid from desert storms under the sink where the Comet and Windex were kept. Now twenty, she welcomes the storms. Maggie has been abused, torn apart by the sins of others and constantly feels as if she is living on the verge of some grand epiphany. Then again, she may just be insane. Maggie doesn't know if the four bodies she dismembered and placed inside a rusted Volkswagen Bus are the only bricks left to her castle in the sky, but she hopes you'll understand if they're not. Castles is Maggie's story, a literary horror novel about love and redemption, belief and revenge and what brings a person to madness. Set in a nameless desert in a nameless town, it is the view into the life of a young woman who wonders if madness is really mad.
This book was not in the genre I usually read. It actually quite reminded me a bit of Stephen King, who used to be my favorite author.. It's about a girl, Maggie, starting at about age 9 and growing through her very dysfunctional childhood. She is abused and neglected, the only person she has to really rely on is her grandmother - and she dies when Maggie is still very young. She is taught by her grandmother to "listen to the voices in the wind" during the many sandstorms that happen in the small dessert area in which she lives. They tell her to do monstrous things, and eventually, she obeys them. The question is: is she, and her grandmother before her, just plain mad, or do these things they see and hear in these storms reality? Are these storms actually sent by God to help clean up "messes" as they put it?
I found this story to be very dark and disturbing, many things happening to Maggie at a very young age.. It shows how things can go terribly wrong when a child is not loved and cared for by her parent(s), as she "grows up" and tries adult things way too early. I think that is what was most disturbing to me, the young age at which Maggie is when she explores her sexuality.
That being said, I also found this story very well written, I read it in just a few short hours, even being interrupted a few times. The author definitely has a talent for writing a story so that you can picture the events in your head quite clearly. Regardless of how I described the story, I did truly enjoy it and gave it four stars. I recommend this book to any who enjoy a good, disturbing, Stephen King-ish horror story!