When Darkness Loves Us by Elizabeth Engstrom
This 1985 novel has been reprinted finally. It is made up of 2 novellas.
When Darkness Loves Us
Sally Ann is young and newly married when by horrendous chance, she ends up trapped in the lightless depths of an underground tunnel system. Time passes and she gives birth, having to raise her son in the dark. Driven to desperation she finally finds a way out only to find her family inexplicably hostile and unwelcoming. The ostracised Sally Ann and her ruined life takes ferocious revenge.
This is a bleak tale of sanity withered in the gloom of a labyrinth. Her son is increaisngly violent and intolerant and Sally Ann's family have gleeful voluminous hate for her instead of compassion. Sally Ann made a huge adjustment in lifestyle to survive, her family's lack of concern leads to drastic consequences and enduring emotional wreckage. Which sets up even more potentially catastrophic events to come. This was good. Sally Ann feels excluded and the isolation has had hideous effects. Poor Sally Ann is friendless, lonely and tragic. Things are psychologically wrong in the cave and Sally Ann's dullard husband and deliberately deceptive clan deserve all they get.
“I don't like nothing from there.”
Martha is a dumpy developmentally disabled woman who is the town outcast and branded a retard. She was horifically traumatised by her absusive unloving father. By chance, Martha finds friends and love and begins to heal. But a local thug triggers a catastrophic crisis by targeting Martha. This is an okay searing indictment of those who stand idly by and don't do nothing.
“They burned the barn so she didn't have to think about it anymore.”
“Her lost life.”
Bad Buffy The Vampire Slayer novels
Cursed, Chaos Bleeds