College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

A-Twisted -Ladder A Twisted Ladder

by Rhody Hawk, Forge, 2009

Reviewed by Eloise Sureau-Hale

A Twisted Ladder is a psychological thriller by Rhodi Hawk. A great novel about schizophrenia, voodoo, family curse, genetics, river devils and unexplained suicides!

The story follows simultaneously the life of Dr Madeleine LeBlanc, psychologist on the faculty at Tulane University in 2009, and that of her great grand-mother Chloe, a century ago. Both women are plagued with strange characters that only they can see and interact with.

As Maddie starts to see things she knows are not really there, she begins to wonder. Is she mentally ill like her father and her brother? Or is she, like them, gifted with a strange ability that allows her mind to wander to a place filled with bramble and creatures from another world? Who is Chloe really and why does she knows so much? And who is Zenon, this seemingly evil man who follows Maddie with a secret purpose? How is he able to make her body stop dead in its tracks? Does he too possess an ability? Of what sort and how did he acquire it? Maybe Severin, the strange child that only Maddie can see holds the key to the family secret, dating back to Chloe's husband Rémi in the 1910's, and his first encounter with the "river devil" Ulysses.

Once you are done with the book, in light of what you know, you will want to start it all over again. A must read in the pure tradition of Southern Gothic, but with a nice twist!

- Eloise Sureau-Hale is Associate Professor of French at Butler University.