Book Review: Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
In the haunting and addictive novel Mr. Splitfoot, author Samantha Hunt tells two alternating stories, tied together by a character in two stages of her life. As a teenager, Ruth suffered being raised in a cult-like orphanage with her friend Nat. The two become known among the others at the home for Nat’s demonstration of talking to the dead. This comes to the attention of a con man named Mr. Bell who sees a business opportunity in these two sheltered teens. In the present, Ruth’s pregnant niece Cora is trying to get her life in order when her long lost appears. Refusing or unable to speak, Ruth takes her niece on a hiking trip with an unknown destination at the end. The respective trials and tribulations these women go through will keep you from putting this book down.
Despite constantly alternating the timeline of the narrative, Samantha Hunt is able to keep everything clear, concise, and suspenseful. This is to the credit of her ability to create troubled characters who draw the reader in and hook them on their storylines. The plight of teenaged Ruth, who commits herself to marriage solely as a means of escape from the abusive Father Arthur, is one that is bound to hook the readers on an emotional level. In the other half of the book, Ruth takes a backseat while Cora carries the action from the first person perspective. Considering her companion is mute, the fact we get this perspective is the element keeping the reader engaged. Along both journeys is the lingering presence of a cult that is very familiar with these young women.
Mr. Splitfoot is a gritty and often creepy book which hits on an emotional level as it tells the stories of two women bound by fate. Samantha Hunt has done a brilliant job in crafting a tale that will keep you turning the pages until the book’s haunting and beautiful ending. This novel was marketed as a part of the horror genre, and while it definitely has many scary and eerie elements, it also has many other things which will appeal to readers of all tastes.