I read this one for the Southern Gothic square.
The story begins with a funeral and an unusual tradition. Afterward, the Savage & McCray families escape to Beldame where there are 3 identical Victorian houses and nothing else. One house for each family and the third house which is being devoured by the sand.
I love the way the author introduces the characters and gradually gets you invested in them. He brings you into their world and the little quirks in their relationships. Then the supernatural gradually creeps up on you and bam!
I liked that the strongest characters were the oldest (the black maid/good witch) and the youngest (13-year-old girl skeptic) and the relationship that developed between them. The atmosphere is so descriptive that I felt like I was on the beach with them.
Great choice for Southern Gothic horror. Thanks to all of you who read this for previous Halloween Bingos and brought it to my attention with your amazing reviews.