A Flood of Posies by Tiffany Meuret is a unique horror novel. The entire world has been flooded, and in A Flood of Posies, we follow Thea now Sestra in the aftermath.
Sisters, Doris and Thea, exist worlds apart, despite living within a few miles of one another. Doris with her regular home and regular husband and regular job, and Thea slinking along the edges of society, solitary and invisible. When a storm of biblical proportions strikes, the wayward sisters are begrudgingly forced together as the rain waters rise, each attempting to survive both the flood and each other.
One year later, Thea—now calling herself Sestra—floats throughout a ravaged, flood soaked world. Her former life drowned beneath metric tons of water, she and her only companion, Robert, battle starvation, heatstroke, and the monstrous creatures called Posies that appeared alongside the flood. When they run across what they assume to be an abandoned tugboat, their journey takes a new turn, and the truth about the flood and the monsters seems more intricately linked to Thea’s past then she may realize.
A Flood of Posies was an interesting read. None of the characters a likable, and this I feel is what keeps many of them alive. Thea is alive purely out of spite, at this point. While the first 50% of the book felt like trudging through people’s trauma and petty arguments, it all comes to a point shortly after. This book made me consider DNF’ing multiple times due to this, though, as the “horror” did not feel particularly in focus until after 50%. I stuck it out for the mere purpose of wanting to know more about the Posies themselves.
Doris and Thea hate each other while also aggressively loving one another. They come from an incredibly abusive and troubled home, and Meruret uses this history to create very dark imagery. It makes you wonder, are the monsters real? Are they simply Thea and Doris’s imagination? Are the representations of the trauma that exists inside each of them? Unfortunately, the way this book ends does not fully answer any of those questions. It leaves them open ended, for your own interpretation. I found that a little frustrating. I wanted answers, and instead I got a bit of a think piece about sisterly love.
To call this simply horror, and not a contemporary horror, leads this to be a marketing fumble. Many go into this book expecting some kind of fantastical horror, and instead see the arguments between two sisters who seem to loathe one another. If I had not read other readers reviews, I probably would have gone in expecting the same. However, I was prepared. Knowing this was the book set up helped me greatly, and that leads to a question about the summary and the genres this falls under. I feel that often we don’t call a spade a spade, and this is one of those instances. This book is more contemporary in a horror setting, than a horror book.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.