Author: Andi C. Buchanan
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Publication Date: April 12, 2022
Publisher: Robot Dinosaur Press
Themes: Autistic Rep, Disability Rep, LGBTQ+ Rep, Genderqueer Rep, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal Abilities, Found Family
Morgan’s home is a sanctuary for ghosts.
The once-grand, now dilapidated old house they live in has become a refuge for their found family. From Morgan’s partner Araminta, an artist with excellent dress sense, to Theo, a ten-year-old with an excess of energy, to quiet telekinesthetic pensioner Denny, all of them consider this haunted house their home. In a world that wasn’t built for their queer, neurodivergent selves, they’ve made it into a place they belong.
Together they welcome not just the ghosts of the house’s former inhabitants, but any who need somewhere to belong. Both the living and the dead can find themselves in need of a sanctuary.
When a collection of ghosts trapped in old bottles are delivered to their door, something from the past is unleashed. A man who once collected ghosts – a man who should have died centuries before – suddenly has the house under his control. Morgan must trust their own abilities, and their hard-won sense of self, to save their home, their family, and the woman they love.
Thank you to the author and Robot Dinosaur Press for an eARC of this title.
Alright friends, this book dropped into my lap and I didn’t know what to expect other than ghosts, found family, and diverse characters. Then I started reading it and it was like coming home in so many ways. We have a cast of characters all who are disabled and neurodivergent, mostly autistic, and queer. They live in a big old mansion together, help renovate and fix the house together, pool their resources, support each other and accommodate each other. They all love and care for their friends in the most beautiful found family I have ever seen. To be honest, reading this book shed a light on so many of my own desires, needs, and experiences it was surprising.
For one thing, I have always dreamed of living in a big house with a found family, where we all care for each other and help each other meet whatever needs we have. This was seen in Sanctuary and it was glorious. Sure, they didn’t have a ton of money and they needed to buy groceries on sale and save up for bigger repairs to the house, but the whole group loved and cared for each other. No one was ignored or demeaned and everyone was valued. It made my heart sing seeing a group of people with vastly different needs, lives, and experiences, come together to support each other.
This book was definitely a slice-of-life story with some ghosts and mystery thrown in and honestly I adored that about it. It was really nice to just see their normal lives and how ghosts were a part of their lives. I loved seeing how Morgan and the rest of the household experienced ghosts to varying degrees, but they all cared for the ghosts and wanted to respect their autonomy and consent. I thought the premise that ghosts are there, just not everyone can see them was really cool. It was a very interesting take on ghosts that I actually really liked. I loved that people could see ghosts to a certain degree, some more and some less, but even if you couldn’t see them, that didn’t mean they were there.
I also really liked the mystery of the bottles and the little flashbacks we got to explain some details. At first I wasn’t sure what the flashbacks were for, but as we went on it all started to come together and I think that was a really interesting way to sprinkle in some suspense because as a reader, I was just waiting to see why I needed this information and where it would go next. I don’t want to spoil what happens in the story, but I’m just going to say that I really enjoyed the reveal and how it was all handled. I thought it was interesting and really dramatic about what happened.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be looking into the authors other work.
Rating: 5/5 Stars