Author: Wendy Dalrymple
Publication: October 1st 2021
Find it on: Amazon
Obsession. Lies. Greed.
Chelsea is thirty-two, vain, and self-absorbed, driven in life only by want and her obsession with being the best. However, despite wanting to portray an outwardly perfect image, things at home are crumbling between her and her boyfriend, Brendan. Together they harbor a secret that has been slowly chipping away at their relationship, and now, things have come to a breaking point.
One day at yoga class, Chelsea meets a woman named Damaris who is exactly like her; beautiful, confident, and reaching high to be her best self. Damaris and Chelsea become instant best friends and bond over healthy eating, fitness, and their love of luxury items. As Chelsea’s heart hardens toward her boyfriend, her obsession with the enigmatic Damaris only blossoms.
As one bad decision turns into another, Chelsea begins to think she is being followed by a white bird. Her new best friend Damaris suggests a girls’ weekend in New Orleans to get away from it all and Chelsea readily agrees. Unfortunately for Chelsea, it soon becomes clear that she can’t run away from her problems and instead finds herself tumbling head-first into a downward spiral
Content Warning: Mentions of suicide and eating disorders.
White Ibis by Wendy Dalrymple was the perfect book to start spooky season with. At 60 pages it’s a short novella but the story didn’t lack in shocking me with its subtle horror. I’m going to be thinking about this one for a long time to come. I never wanted to stop reading!
This book is about third-two year old Chelsea who has been living with her boyfriend Brendan for the past year. One day at a yoga class she meets the beautiful and enigmatic Damaris and instantly becomes best friends with her. As the story progresses we learn that Chelsea isn’t happy with her life with Brendan, even though she has done everything in her power to be with him in the first place. Something she doesn’t really talk about. These feelings only increase the more time she spends with Damaris. And on top of that Chelsea has a feeling that she is being followed by a white bird. But that’s crazy, right…?
I don’t read a lot of horror but I must say if all horror stories are like this I might need to jump in the genre more often. I love that the horror in this story slowly sneaks up on you in an almost understates sort of way before practically slamming into you with its fucked-up plot twists. It wasn’t just the way Damaris mysteriously comes into Chelsea’s life but also the secrets that Chelsea keeps about how her relationship with Brendan started. Everything all led up to an intense and bizarre climax that I just can’t get out of my head.
None of the characters were very likable. Especially Chelsea was self-absorbed, greedy and vain. Even more so when she met Damaris and became obsessed with her. But I didn’t even care about that because the intense and dark atmosphere the author created made White Ibis a page-turner like no other. I’d highly recommend it!
About the author:
Wendy Dalrymple crafts highly consumable sweet romances and Florida gothic horror. When she’s not writing happily-ever-afters and tropical thrillers, you can find her camping with her family, painting (bad) wall art, and trying to grow as many pineapples as possible.