Beneath the Stairs
Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did.
Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby, who drifted from her life, has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.
An eerie page-turner, Beneath the Stairs is about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood. It’s about returning to the beginning to reach the end.
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: February 2, 2022
“In Beneath the Stairs, Jennifer Fawcett explores the lasting impact of childhood trauma in this metaphysical story about a house with buried secrets. An enthralling debut by a gifted storyteller!” —Wendy Walker, author of Don't Look for Me and All Is Not Forgotten
“Jennifer Fawcett's Beneath the Stairs had me from the very first page. Tense, surprising, and utterly gripping, I loved this book!” —Karen Dionne, international bestsellers The Marsh King's Daughter and The Wicked Sister
“A spell-binding horror story, where the terror comes not from ghosts, but from the haunted places we find within ourselves. A thoroughly engrossing and compulsive read.” —Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Vanishing Point
“An audacious debut. With plotting as intricate and wild as the Hill House adaptation, it'll keep you guessing until the very end.” —Sarah Langan, author of Good Neighbors
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Jennifer Fawcett holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Her work has been produced in theaters across the country and published in Third Coast Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Storybrink, and in the anthology Long Story Short. Her debut novel, Beneath the Stairs comes out with Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) in February 2022. She teaches writing at Skidmore College.