Cackle is the story of Annie and how she found her own power after being dumped by her boyfriend. They had been together for years and still shared their Manhattan apartment after he decided they should just be friends. It was too painful for her so she found a new teaching job upstate. She also found a furnished apartment in a small, picture-perfect town with a fabulous coffee shop, farmers’ market, and all the trimmings of cozy Americana. Well, except there are an awful lot of spiders.

Annie meets Sophie, a mesmerizing woman of extraordinary beauty. She is warm, effusive, and charming. She builds up Annie’s self-esteem and introduces her to the town. Oddly, the people seem uncomfortable around Sophie. Annie goes to Sophie’s house, reached by a creepy walk through the woods past some graves but arriving at this fabulous mansion where Sophie lived alone. Well, except there are an awful lot of ghosts.

Are the townspeople right to fear Sophie? Should Annie be warier of her new friend? What about when Annie’s ex comes to ask her to come back?

Well, I loved Cackle. It is not the usual sort of feminist consciousness-raising but that is what makes it fun. Annie does grow from the passive beaten-down woman who left Manhattan brooding constantly about her lost love to a confident woman who can stand on her own. How she does it may not work for you or me, but I am happy to see her cackle.

I received an e-galley of Cackle from the publisher through NetGalley.