The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
A Novel

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...Jemc reveals Julie’s and James’ growing distrust of each other and themselves even as she manipulates the novel's language to reflect the evolution of what is either psychosis or possession. Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect.
-Kirkus

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Recommended Reading by Nylon, Marie Claire and Chicago Reader

Jac Jemc's The Grip of It is a chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home

Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real estate agent assures them with a smile. He is wrong.

The move―prompted by James’s penchant for gambling and his general inability to keep his impulses in check―is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to start afresh. But this house, which sits between a lake and a forest, has its own plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to establish a sense of normalcy, the home and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The framework― claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms―becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall―contracting, expanding―and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of painful, grisly bruises.

Like the house that torments the troubled married couple living within its walls, The Grip of It oozes with palpable terror and skin-prickling dread. Its architect, Jac Jemc, meticulously traces Julie and James’s unsettling journey through the depths of their new home as they fight to free themselves from its crushing grip.

 

About Jac Jemc

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Jac Jemc is the author of My Only Wife, a finalist for the 2013 PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and A Different Bed Every Time, one of Amazon’s Best Story Collections of 2014. She has been the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grants, and in 2014 was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by the Guild Literary Complex and one of Newcity’s Lit 50 in Chicago. She recently completed a stint as the writer in residence at the University of Notre Dame and currently teaches at Northeastern Illinois University and StoryStudio Chicago, as well as online at Writers & Books and the Loft Literary Center, and she is the web nonfiction editor for Hobart.
 
Published August 1, 2017 by FSG Originals.
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on May 15 2017

...Jemc reveals Julie’s and James’ growing distrust of each other and themselves even as she manipulates the novel's language to reflect the evolution of what is either psychosis or possession. Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect.

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