STARRED REVIEW
August 2021

Small Favors

By Erin A. Craig
Review by

Erin A. Craig follows her 2019 debut novel, House of Salt and Sorrows, with another absorbing, uncanny tale that walks the fine line between fantasy and horror.

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In the small community of Amity Falls, 18-year-old Ellerie Downing spends her days tending to her family’s beehives and secretly dreaming of life beyond the woods that surround the village. But when townsfolk begin to go missing, tales of beasts that stalked the settlement in its early years resurface. Could there be a terrifying reality behind the stories?

Erin A. Craig follows her 2019 debut novel, House of Salt and Sorrows, with another absorbing, uncanny tale that walks the fine line between fantasy and horror. A winding mystery loosely based on the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” Small Favors takes a haunting look at the limits of human civility.

Tensions rise among the people Ellerie once called her friends as strange phenomena start to occur. Animals give birth to grotesque creatures, and mysterious symbols appear in unexpected places. Winter sets in, trapping Amity Falls’ residents in the village, and reality itself twists unsettlingly. Ghosts are seen in places that later go up in flames, and neighbors blame one another for inexplicable sabotage. Claustrophobia and dread seep into the very fabric of the community, and a stifling sense of hostility causes the town to turn on itself. Ellerie must uncover what’s really troubling Amity Falls before she loses the home and people she loves.

Ellerie is a kind and dutiful older sister, and Craig crafts the considerable cast of characters who surround her into a complex web of personalities and relationships. Through Ellerie’s eyes, readers experience Amity Falls as a cozy and cordial place, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when the town begins to crumble. From gossip that permeates conversations at church to bickering between once amicable neighbors to shocking accusations directed at old friends, Ellerie witnesses the transformation of Amity Falls into a place she hardly recognizes as home. As she confronts sinister and possibly otherworldly forces, readers must decide what’s real and who can be trusted.

Small Favors is as much about humanity as it is about horror. Perfect for readers who love mysteries and the macabre, the novel poses provocative questions. What can we keep for ourselves, and what must we give up for others? How far are we willing to go for what we want? How will we know when we’ve sacrificed our souls in order to gain our heart’s desires?

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Small Favors

Small Favors

By Erin A. Craig
Delacorte
ISBN 9780593306741

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