Triad by Mary Leader


Triad, Mary Leader, 1973

Favorite quote: “Rhiannon! Even now I could remember the metallic tint that always crept into her voice whenever she taunted me.”

Characters: Branwen, an author mourning the loss of her child; Alan, her husband; Rhiannon, Branwen’s long-dead cousin

Most memorable scene: The resurfacing memories of Branwen’s repressed childhood trauma

Strengths: The imagery. Mary Leader knows how to paint pictures with words … the kind of pictures you’ll remember

Standout achievements: For being so short, it’s strong

Fun Facts: While it’s commonly claimed that Triad was “the inspiration” for Fleetwood mac’s classic hit, Rhiannon, singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks has never actually expressed much interest in the novel itself. According to her, the song wasn’t written about the book in any way — she just liked the name. In short, if you’re seeking out this book (which is out of print now and priced at $596.02) for its tenuous connection to Stevie Nicks, you’ll likely be disappointed. Aside from Branwen hearing a disembodied “RHI-ANN-ON” on occasion, there’s nothing there. Sorry. (And now you have the song stuck in your head, don’t you? You’re welcome)

Other media: Triad appears in a store window in the Jodie Foster film, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

What it taught me: While certainly not an example of top-shelf literary excellence, I did learn a few things from this book — most notably that where a story starts and where it ends can be very different … so long as they meet in the middle and tie together

How it inspired me: While I didn’t go write any songs after reading this book the way Stevie Nicks did, I do frequently think of this book when I write something spooky. I like the way this book keeps its secrets. I aspire to be as masterful at maintaining mystery 

Additional thoughts: This is one of those books I’ve given up recommending. As much as I love it, it seems I’m the only one. To me, it’s about ghosts, loss, possession, and mental illness. It’s equally supernatural and psychological, and largely left open to the reader’s interpretation. Personally, I dig that kind of shit, but alas … 

My rating: 4 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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