So, earlier this week I tried to listen to the audiobook The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates. Can you believe I've never read any Joyce Carol Oates? I didn't know what the book was about but I thought it was time to try out the author.
Here's the thing. I was really digging the writing. It was so realistic. Maybe too real. The Corn Maiden, you see, is about Marissa, an eleven year old girl, who was lured into the basement of an older girl from her school for the purposes of some human sacrifice ritual. Yeah, the older girl is a nutter. Unfortunately, she's a popular and persuasive nutter. The story is told from different points of view. I did not make it past the mother.
There is a particular feeling a parent gets when you don't know where your child is even if it's just for a moment. You expect them to be in a certain place and they're not there and you panic. Oates describes the emotions of the mother so perfectly that I couldn't listen any more. Nope. Not gonna do it.
I had a look on Goodreads and it turns out several of the stories involve kids. Children in Peril is my bookish intolerance. Well, it's a problem only if I think things aren't going to turn out okay (I'll read the end first to find out.) I guess it's a Mom Thing. My imagination is just too vivid and I always put myself and my daughter in the shoes of the characters. It's safe to say I won't be returning to The Corn Maiden. These nightmares are just too real.
What about you? Is there a line an author can't cross with you? Something that puts you off even if you're enjoying the story?
Also, can you recommend something else from Joyce Carol Oates that won't make me faint?