We Can Never Leave This Place — Eric LaRocca

March 3, 2022

TITLE: We Can Never Leave This Place
AUTHOR: Eric LaRocca
GENRE: Horror/dark fantasy
PAGES: 92pg
PUBLISHER: JournalStone

“When you’re given a gift, something else gets taken away.”

A precocious young girl with an unusual imagination is sent on an odyssey into the depths of depravity. After her father dies violently, young Mara is surprised to find her mother welcoming a new guest into their home, claiming that he will protect them from the world of devastation and destruction outside their door.

A grotesque and thrilling dark fantasy, We Can Never Leave This Place is a harrowing portrait of inherited grief and familial trauma.

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Don’t mind me over here, forever obsessing over everything Eric writes. 🖤

“If you hold on to a rope long enough, it’ll pull you with it. I’ve been holding on to one my whole life.”

I’ve read several of Eric’s works now, and have been genuinely captivated by each and every one. Their way with words is brilliant all on its own, but Eric has the plots and characters to flesh out all of that eloquence and give it a sturdy home that leads to the most memorable and truly special reading experiences. Unsurprisingly for anyone who’s a fan of this author’s works, We Can Never Leave This Place runs through a wide gambit of emotions, and left me feeling somehow both drained and fulfilled in the best way when it ended.

From baby teeth to virginity, to live is to regularly suffer loss.

We Can Never Leave This Place is a gloomy, claustrophobic tale of a teen girl in a seemingly war-ravaged or dystopian society, trapped in a toxic home with her ruthlessly cold mother after her father is murdered. Strange characters filter into the apartment and bring their own bizarre and, at times, horrific motives and desires with them, and all Mara can do — and us, alongside her — is watch the quiet chaos reach its peak. There’s a general sense of disgust and true, human horror that permeates the entire tale, due both to the characters’ depraved actions and Mara’s filthy living conditions, and each time a glimmer of hope is unveiled, you can’t help but grasp onto it desperately despite knowing it will likely be wrenched away from Mara soon enough.

“She’s a storyteller.”
“Just another word for ‘liar,’” my mother said, folding her arms.

Much like Eric’s other works, there’s only so much I can say without spoiling the madness that ensues within these pages, but I truly enjoyed this novella so much and I know I’ll be adding it to the ever-growing list of Eric LaRocca titles I frequently rave about and recommend so highly. Well done with another incredible release that has dug itself entirely under my skin, Eric. I’m happy to have it here.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to the author for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

content warnings →
WARNINGS (vague spoilers):

mentions of child death, parent death, grief, unclean living situation, violence, murder, brief mention of rape, emotional and verbal abuse from a parent, animal violence/death, insects, body horror, brief descriptions of miscarriage/stillbirth, incest

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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.


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