Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures that formally existed only in mariner's dreams, are being pulled from the sea. Perfectly preserved corpses of villagers long ago lost at sea are being washed upon the shore. And residents of the town are suddenly suffering from a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.
Recent divorcé Joseph Blackwood has returned to his hometown in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged daughter. But when the young girl begins having visions and conversing with the spirit of a neighbor's deceased child, he knows that his daughter is suffering from some supernatural affliction. Now, with the help of some colorful village residents, Joseph must unravel this paranormal mystery to save his only daughter.
Called the literary love child of Stephen King and Annie Proulx, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a page-turning gothic tale and a profound exploration of what it really means to live in the modern world.
Kenneth J. Harvey's language is solid and unspectaculara wise choice, given the oddness of these events…But ultimately, the book's success or failure rests upon two criteria: the ability to create a believable atmosphere of uncanny incident and the concurrent ability to convince the reader that this incident possesses significance. The novel succeeds at the first, falters at the second. We're effectively transported into a region of otherworldly strangeness and unpredictability, but the denouement is unconvincing.