The Remaking – Clay McLeod Chapman

Ever since I got this book months ago I’ve been in love with this cover art!

Thanks to Quirk Books for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review

THE REMAKING – Clay McLeod Chapman (Released October 8th, 2019)

Anything that says, “Based on a true story”, will immediately catch my attention!

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Book Description:

Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results.

Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses.

Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again…

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Seeing that this is a true crime meets horror added this instantly to my TBR. What I love the most about the “Inspired by true events” is that it’s really fun to try and determine what is fact and what is fiction. THE REMAKING by Clay McLeod Chapman is all I was hoping it would be and perfect for the Halloween season. Urban legends are my favorite. I love all of those folklore stories and hearing the slight variations depending on where the story is being told. The general story is always the same but the details change to fit the area and town.

We get the story of Ella Louise and her daughter Jessica. They lived in the woods surrounding Pilot Creek. They have both been publicly shunned by their surrounding community, however, they are visited privately by those seeking Ella Louise’s herbal remedies. She is accused of witchcraft after the death of an infant she provided medicine for and she and Jessica are both burned at the stake. Their story has become an urban legend and is told around the campfire to scare anyone that will listen.

This book is told in four chapters: the campfire story told by a man that requires a bottle of booze as payment, the 70’s horror film about Ella Louise and Jessica, the eventual 90’s horror film remake, and finally a podcast from a true crime investigator. Amber is at the center of the final three chapters. She is originally cast to play Jessica in the 70’s horror film, then twenty years later she is cast to play Ella Louise in the remake, and it culminates with her joining in on a podcast to recount her experiences.

Overall, I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I loved how Chapman laid out the story for us and how he built the characters with everything stemming from the urban legend. It was fun going on the journey with Amber throughout the years and I liked that it was told chronologically so we could see the changes happening in real time. It was creepy, funny, flowed like a horror film, and kept me captivated from cover to cover. I would highly recommend this one and this definitely will not be my last book by Chapman!

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