Sunburst Award nominee
An eerie and romantic Southern gothic drama that is gripping, macabre, ominous, and creepy. “A stolen moment of pure fantasy.” — Scene Magazine
“Unease haunts this southern gothic … An intense debut bolstered by a powerful sense of place.” — The Globe and Mail
Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar tells the story of twenty-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp after her adopted mother dies. Hannah soon falls in love with Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician. But then, her mysterious birth mother — cast out as a witch and rumored to commune with the dead — comes back into her life, and Hannah must confront what she’s been hiding from: the deadly spirits that haunt the swamp, the dark secrets of her past, and the nascent gift she possesses. Like the nightmares that plague Hannah, Cauchemar lingers and haunts.
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Alexandra Grigorescu has a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Toronto, where she attended writing workshops led by George Elliott Clark and Jeff Parker and wrote her thesis under the guidance of Camilla Gibb. She works as a freelance writer and lives in Toronto, Ontario. This is her debut novel.
Published: March 2015
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“Alexandra Grigorescu’s debut is a straight-up old-school Southern Gothic. True Blood wishes it was this good.” — Jeff Parker, author of Where Bears Roam the Streets
“It is well-written with just the right amount of suspense to keep the reader guessing what will happen to the characters until the very last page.” — The Book Binder’s Daughter
“Grigorescu is a literary sorceress — who has possibly hung out with the Louisiana witches, because she evoked them something strong in this book.” — Bella’s Bookshelves
“An intense debut bolstered by a powerful sense of place.” — Globe and Mail
“Grigorescu applies just the right tonal touch to her macabre subject matter . . . The book is full of riveting prose about complex, fallible characters. I rushed through the final chapter impatient to see how it would all end — and the ambiguous final plot twist cries out for a sequel.” — Quill & Quire
“A paradox of horror and beauty . . . The author is also very talented in teasing the eyes, the tongue and the mind with words, describing both a beautiful and a haunting world that not many know exist.” — Svetlana’s Reads
“A dark, gripping debut from a very talented writer!” — Booking It with Hayley G
“From the very beginning, Alexandra Grigorescu’s debut novel Cauchemar pulls the reader into the haunting desperation of the southern gothic . . . What makes Cauchemar so effective — so ominous and creepy — lies in Grigorescu’s skill in setting a scene. There’s a convincing aura of melancholy and malevolence haunting Hannah’s world.” — Broken Pencil
“Alexandra Grigorescu works pure magic with the line, pulling proverbial rabbits from alligator hats and performing mind-bending enchantments upon every page. Like many of the spellbinding characters of Cauchemar, Grigorescu possesses a preternatural talent.” — Spencer Gordon, author of Cosmo
“A bayou setting, a dash of supernatural intrigue, and enough music and cookery to fill anyone’s plate … Goes well with fresh-caught fish, gumbo, and sweet tea.” — Bibliotica
“As quickly as Alexandra Grigorescu evokes the robust spices in deep south cooking, she sends shivers up your spine at the mention of something white and scaly sneaking through Hannah’s dreams . . . and into her reality.” — Editorial Eyes
“Grigorescu grabs readers with a sense of foreboding at the start and builds intense tension as she leads them into a haunting place where the lines between dream and reality, living and dead, blur and hypnotize.” — PublishersWeekly.com
“The tone was perfect for a gothic novel and I think I’ll be delving into the genre some more.” — Lavender Lines
“Moody, spicy, sexy, vivid, and creepy-as-hell.” — The Book Stylist
“There are books to curl up with on lazy summer afternoons: guilty pleasures and romantic page-turners. Cauchemar by Canadian writer Alexandra Grigorescu is such a book; a stolen moment of pure fantasy, elevated by the author’s mesmerizing brand of descriptive, evocative language . . .Cauchemar easily surpasses its rivals of Twilight and True Blood, due to the poetic quality of Grigorescu’s writing.” — Scene Magazine