Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
“You are in the house and the house is in the woods. You are in the house and the house is in you.”
Ines gets accepted into the most prestigious and confusing places in the world. Catherine House. But in order to attend and experience all it has the offer in its immersive curriculum, Ines has to give three years of her life to the school. Three whole years, no phone, no contact with the outside world, not even any summers. She chooses to go to the house in the woods.
I know, I know. You’re confused as to why I didn’t write much for the synopsis. I did that for a reason. I don’t think you should go into this book knowing ANYTHING. One, because it is so hard to describe this book, I can’t even definitively tell you its genre. (honestly can we just make “weird” it’s own genre?) I can’t really tell you anything that happens in this book without fear of spoiling something. But this book was SO GOOD.
Also, I want to preface this review by saying it is going to be a HOT mess. Like probably the most disgruntled review I’ve ever written. Because I don’t know what to say, and honestly I am in the house and the house is in the woods.
I know a lot of people didn’t like it, and one of the biggest complaints is that it’s slow. Which it is. There is an overarching plot, but it doesn’t feel important. Instead this book holds you underwater while you struggle to breathe. It makes you confused, and untruthful. It makes you feel like Ines does. I am literally obsessed with this book.
Catherine House perfectly intertwines college experiences with weirdness. Yes there is drinking, there is sex, there is nudity. I can definitely see how that would be off putting to some, but that was used as a façade for Ines. Ines hides behind all of it to hide from her past, and it was very real.
I finished this book two weeks ago, and I’m still struggling to put into words how much I love this book. It was pretty much everything I look for. A weird story, a character with baggage trying to overcome, and a stunning ending. There’s not much else I can say that will make any remote sense. All I can say is READ IT. I want everyone to read it, even if they’ll hate it because it’s an experience to say the least.