Monsters We Have Made: A Novel (Paperback)

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Monsters We Have Made: A Novel By Lindsay Starck Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Nine-year-old Faye and her best friend attack their babysitter and leave her bleeding with several knife wounds in the woods. When unraveled, her parents and the community find out that the girls were attempting to appease and gain the favor of the Kingman. Think of the Kingman as Slenderman, and the crimes are somewhat the same. Ten years later, a knock on Sylvia's door. Sylvia, Faye's mother, delivers a granddaughter and reports that her daughter is missing. Sylvia sets off to find her, which brings back the Kingman dilemma from so long ago. Fearing that something awful will occur again, she strikes out and tracks down the people from the past, who sometimes have a difficult time helping, as they would rather forget about everything from before. The power of a story to change a life, for good or for ill, lays at the heart of this family's desire to heal from a past they can't move on from nor forget.  Lindsay Starck has crafted a masterful and suspenseful novel of love and fear and family, both estranged and new.

— Jason Kennedy


A poignant and evocative novel that explores the bounds of familial love, the high stakes of parenthood, and the tenuous divide between fiction and reality.

Thirteen years ago, Sylvia Gray's young daughter, Faye, attacked her babysitter in order to impress the Kingman, a monster she and her best friend had encountered on the Internet. When the now twenty-three-year-old Faye goes missing, leaving her toddler behind, Sylvia launches a search that propels her back into the past and back into the Kingman's orbit. With the help of her estranged husband and a sister she hasn't spoken to in years, Sylvia draws dangerously closer not only to Faye, but also to the truth about the monster that once inspired her. Will Sylvia be able to reach her daughter before history repeats itself? Or will it be Sylvia, this time, who loses her grip on reality and succumbs to the dark powers of this monstrous fiction?

Both literary and suspenseful, Monsters We Have Made confronts the terrors of parenthood and examines the boundaries of love. Most importantly, it reminds us of the power of stories to shape our lives.

About the Author

Lindsay Starck is a writer, editor, and professor based in Minneapolis. She studied at Yale, Notre Dame, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first novel, Noah’s Wife, was published in 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Her short prose has recently appeared in the New England Review, Ploughshares, the Bellevue Literary Review, The Cincinnati Review, and the Southern Review. Her academic articles have been published in Modern Fiction, The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, and Adaptation. When she's not typing on her laptop (or taking pictures of it) she's traveling with her husband or training their dog, Cedar.

Praise For…

“Starck (Noah’s Wife) terrifies and captivates in this profound meditation on the power of stories that doubles as a twisty and possibly supernatural mystery. . . . Starck’s prose is by turns gorgeous and unsettling, creating a dreamlike tale that slides effortlessly between fantasy and reality as it interrogates such themes as forgiveness, generational trauma, and the responsibilities and burdens of motherhood. This is sure to resonate.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For a parent, there is no greater fear than something happening to your child. In Monsters We Have Made Lindsay Starck jams a knife right into this nerve. She—truly—scared the hell out of this reader, as I breathlessly followed these characters through years of love and heartbreak, mystery and paranoia and paralyzing horror. Beware the Kingman—and beware Lindsay Starck, who swallows you whole with her masterful storytelling.”
— Benjamin Percy, author of The Ninth Metal

“A riveting journey into the bright and terrifying landscape between what is real and what is imagined. In Monsters We Have Made, Lindsay Starck conjures an exquisitely suspenseful story of a nightmare crime and a family’s hard-won love and forgiveness that can conquer even the most dangerous acts of the mind. Fast-paced and vivid, a book that will transport you to the edge of the familiar world and draw you back.”
— Ariel Djanikian, author of The Prospectors

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593471036
ISBN-10: 0593471032
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English