The Toll by Cherie Priest

“The things I take are mine to keep” (135)

One of my favourite genres is Gothic Literature so one day, a couple of months ago I Googles “Contemporary Gothic Literature” and up popped a wonderfully detailed list of titles. One of the titles on this list was “The Toll” written by Cherie Priest. The caption under the title reads “Southern Gothic Horror with a Contemporary Twist”. Perfect.

Admittingly I bought this novel thinking it was an escapist pulp fiction – something easy to read and entertaining enough to distract me from the realities at hand. I soon found out; however, this novel is not only entertaining but wonderfully written as well—a combination of horror, mystery and humour.

What is it’s the premise? A bridge appears where no bridge should be. Right in the middle of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. If you happen to be driving along the road when this bridge appears you just might be “taken” or rather there is a good probability you WILL be taken. By whom? By what? And what is it that lurks in the water….watching….waiting.

This novel possesses a variety of memorable characters however I absolutely adore the “godmothers” Miss Daisy and Miss Claire two rick as 80-year-old heroines who “[know]about everything that [goes]on within a hundred miles (pg. 11).

I found this novel highly entertaining, and because I love her writing so much I definitely will be reading more of Cherie Priest’s novels.

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