A spellbinding, genre-bending debut that follows a woman’s attempt to heal from an abusive relationship—with the help of black magic.
As the sun sets on a feverishly hot July evening, a young woman spies on her teenage neighbor, transfixed by what looks like an occult ritual intended to banish an ex-boyfriend. Alone in a new town and desperate to expel the claustrophobic memories of her own ex, the narrator decides to try to hex herself free from her past. But when the creaks and hums of her apartment escalate into something more violent, she realizes that she may have brought her boyfriend’s presence—whether psychological or paranormal—back to haunt her. With astonishing emotional depth and clarity, Disturbance explores the fallout of abuse. Propulsive and wry, this razor-sharp debut twists witchcraft and horror into a powerful narrative of one woman’s struggle to return to herself.
About the Author
Jenna Clake is the author of two collections of poetry, Museum of Ice Cream and Fortune Cookie, which received an Eric Gregory Award and was shortlisted for a Somerset Maugham Award. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
This witchy [novel] benefits from allusions to its pop culture antecedents, including The Craft, and Clake’s artful juxtaposition of the narrator’s memories of her past relationship with the haunting in the present sheds light on the lingering effects of trauma. Fans of literary horror will want to snatch this up.
— Publishers Weekly
Disturbance reads like a poem but hits like a horror novel. What a mysterious, painful, yet strangely delicious slice of life.
— Ashley Hutson, author of One's Company
This slim, searing novel lures you in with the delicious nostalgia of teenage witchcraft before breaking you in two.
— Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers’ Blessing