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Passersthrough

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A father and his estranged daughter reconnect to try to understand a decades-old trauma in this haunting novel, part ghost story, part lyrical exploration of family, aging, and how we remember the past. At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered A father and his estranged daughter reconnect to try to understand a decades-old trauma in this haunting novel, part ghost story, part lyrical exploration of family, aging, and how we remember the past. At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered and returned to her family. It is now 25 years later, and after more than two decades of estrangement, Helen and Benjamin reconnect at his home in Portland to try to understand what happened during the days she was gone. Through in-person meetings and an exchange of audio recordings, faxes, and contemporaneous documents, they work through painful family histories in their search for the truth. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets an odd pair, a woman and boy who seem driven to help him learn more about Helen’s disappearance, and send him on a journey that will lead to a murder house, moments of body horror and possession, and an uncanny, bone-filled body of water known as Sad Clown Lake, a lake “that could only be found by getting lost, that was never in the same place twice.” In this exploration of family, memory, and the border between life and death, Peter Rock has created a haunted, starkly lyrical masterwork.


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A father and his estranged daughter reconnect to try to understand a decades-old trauma in this haunting novel, part ghost story, part lyrical exploration of family, aging, and how we remember the past. At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered A father and his estranged daughter reconnect to try to understand a decades-old trauma in this haunting novel, part ghost story, part lyrical exploration of family, aging, and how we remember the past. At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered and returned to her family. It is now 25 years later, and after more than two decades of estrangement, Helen and Benjamin reconnect at his home in Portland to try to understand what happened during the days she was gone. Through in-person meetings and an exchange of audio recordings, faxes, and contemporaneous documents, they work through painful family histories in their search for the truth. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets an odd pair, a woman and boy who seem driven to help him learn more about Helen’s disappearance, and send him on a journey that will lead to a murder house, moments of body horror and possession, and an uncanny, bone-filled body of water known as Sad Clown Lake, a lake “that could only be found by getting lost, that was never in the same place twice.” In this exploration of family, memory, and the border between life and death, Peter Rock has created a haunted, starkly lyrical masterwork.

30 review for Passersthrough

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Passersthrough was the first book that I have read by Peter Rock. I listened to the audiobook of Passersthrough that was narrated by Eric Jason Martin. His voice was perfect for the narration. It was creepy enough and luring and made me want to keep listening even when I was totally confused and frustrated with where this story plot was going. The beginning seemed promising but as the plot took off in other directions I found it to be less convincing. Passersthrough was a story about a father an Passersthrough was the first book that I have read by Peter Rock. I listened to the audiobook of Passersthrough that was narrated by Eric Jason Martin. His voice was perfect for the narration. It was creepy enough and luring and made me want to keep listening even when I was totally confused and frustrated with where this story plot was going. The beginning seemed promising but as the plot took off in other directions I found it to be less convincing. Passersthrough was a story about a father and daughter relationship. Benjamin and Helen, father and daughter, had been estranged for twenty-five years before they agreed to see each other again. Helen was all grown up now and worked and lived in California. From the time Helen was eleven years old, she lived with her mother and had no more contact with her father until the day she visited him at his home in Portland, Oregon. When Helen was eleven years old, she and her father Benjamin went camping together in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. Benjamin believed at the time that it would be a nice adventure to experience together. To Benjamin’s bewilderment and horror, when he woke up, there was no sign of Helen. She had disappeared. He frantically looked for her but was unsuccessful in finding her. Even the authorities were having trouble finding her. Finally, after being lost for a week, she finally just appeared, dirty and with no memory of what had happened to her over that week that she had been lost. Benjamin and Helen’s mother divorced. Helen’s mother forbade any contact between Benjamin and Helen. When Helen arrived at Benjamin’s home, twenty five years since she had last seen or heard from her father, her mother was now dead. Helen and Benjamin, still haunted by that camping experience, tried to conjure up suppressed memories of what had happened to Helen all those years ago. Unfortunately, Helen was never able to remember what happened to her all those years ago. In order to stay in touch with her father, Helen set up a fax machine and recording device which Benjamin reluctantly began to use to keep in touch with his daughter and share isolated memories with her. If Passersthrough had stayed with this storyline of the plot and had expanded upon it, I would have probably enjoyed this book so much more. However, Peter Rock, introduced two new random characters and a dog. The plot started to get weird and in my opinion, not realistic. When Benjamin was bitten on the face by this dog, a sister and brother entered Benjamin’s life. Benjamin allowed them to enter and use his home and car without his say so. It was almost like he was in their power and could not stop interacting, following and doing whatever they suggested. This part bothered me a lot. He was the grownup and he had just made their acquaintance. Why was he so accommodating, trusting and beguiled by them? The ending of Passersthrough also left me unsatisfied and made me question what I had just listened to. The narrator’s voice and performance enticed me to keep listening to Passersthrough by Peter Rock but after it was over I had to ask myself why? It was a very disjointed plot and some things made no sense to me. I guess this was why I try and stay away from supernatural ghost stories. I am not sure if I will read other books by this author if Passersthrough was any indication of the type of books he writes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ellis

    Unnerving and elegiac. I am a complete fucking sucker for an ending like that, (view spoiler)[May we all be so lucky, at the end of our lives, to walk into the lake and hear the voices of the people we've known and loved and missed, the small voices that we have never forgotten (hide spoiler)] to the point where I think I'm going a rare five stars on this one. Unnerving and elegiac. I am a complete fucking sucker for an ending like that, (view spoiler)[May we all be so lucky, at the end of our lives, to walk into the lake and hear the voices of the people we've known and loved and missed, the small voices that we have never forgotten (hide spoiler)] to the point where I think I'm going a rare five stars on this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Atlasi Khoramani

    the beginning was so promising and good. I was so excited and hyped. but as the story went on I wasn't really sure what was happening and got really confused. the plot was not that satisfying for me and was a bit weird. it could've ended in so many different and mesmerizing ways that I was really disappointed by what happened. I'm so sad, I deeply hate it when I dislike a book. thanks to NetGallery for providing my copy. the beginning was so promising and good. I was so excited and hyped. but as the story went on I wasn't really sure what was happening and got really confused. the plot was not that satisfying for me and was a bit weird. it could've ended in so many different and mesmerizing ways that I was really disappointed by what happened. I'm so sad, I deeply hate it when I dislike a book. thanks to NetGallery for providing my copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Lamont

    Whoa, was that incredibly, disturbingly good or what? I'm not sure now whether I want to read everything by Peter Rock, or nothing by him ever again. And y'all? It wasn't the supernatural elements that weirded me out. Although by all rights they should have, as well as they were done. Nope, it was the relationship our main protagonist had with what I think of as those Crust (or Gutter) Punks, complete with the poor unfortunate dog that did not choose to live that lifestyle. This is the second, or m Whoa, was that incredibly, disturbingly good or what? I'm not sure now whether I want to read everything by Peter Rock, or nothing by him ever again. And y'all? It wasn't the supernatural elements that weirded me out. Although by all rights they should have, as well as they were done. Nope, it was the relationship our main protagonist had with what I think of as those Crust (or Gutter) Punks, complete with the poor unfortunate dog that did not choose to live that lifestyle. This is the second, or maybe third, book I've read lately set in the Portland, Oregon, and/or Klickitat Washington, area. Can't say as Peter Rock and the other authors I've read are gonna be getting any sweet thank-you letters from either covention and visitors bureau any time soon....because it sure sounds like there are lots of less-than-hospitable folks out there. Oh Yeah I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. If you've ever read My Book Reports before, you'll know that such as that does not influence me in the least when it comes to sharing my thoughts. If this is the first time you've read me, well, yay! Glad you're here. And now you know.

  5. 4 out of 5

    CaraDico

    *Thank you to Soho press, Peter Rock and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review* Previously posted at https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/pa... “There was no door now, no walls, no sky, no ground. No feet, no legs, no arms, no hands. Only the voices, rushing through the branches of hidden trees.” –Peter Rock, Passersthrough Sad Clown Lake is a place you can only find by getting lost. This is only a place you can find by getting lost. The lake will call people to it, but it is never in *Thank you to Soho press, Peter Rock and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review* Previously posted at https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/pa... “There was no door now, no walls, no sky, no ground. No feet, no legs, no arms, no hands. Only the voices, rushing through the branches of hidden trees.” –Peter Rock, Passersthrough Sad Clown Lake is a place you can only find by getting lost. This is only a place you can find by getting lost. The lake will call people to it, but it is never in the same physical location. The passersthrough are described as people caught between places, between some place and some place else. As with most of this brilliant novel, the description is ethereal, atmospheric, and somewhat confusing. I have nothing to compare it to. There are parts of it that remind me of The Exorcist and there are parts of it that remind me of more mythological stories, such as Lore. The mythos part of the story starts gradually until it makes sense to the reader. Benjamin, an older gentleman, seeks to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Helen, after 25 years. Helen disappeared on a camping trip with her father when she was just 11 years old. Gone for a week, she appears at a farmhouse deep in the country where the young couple living there take care of her, though she can’t walk and crab crawls through the house, eating everything in sight. This being said, the cast of characters are misfits, individually and with each other, which definitely adds a strange element to the book. Melissa, a young homeless woman, meets Benjamin when he gets bit by her rabid pit bull, Johnson, in a parking lot. She takes care of him and steals from his house, but reappears to help him solve the mystery of what happened to his daughter. Cisco, her younger cohort, squats with her in the hell house, a house where two young teens were murdered several years ago. Melissa, Cisco, Benjamin, and even Johnson. Helen, his daughter, is only available to talk to him through facsimiles and occasionally, a phone call. Though we never quite understand why Melissa is motivated to help Benjamin, and sometimes steals from his house and takes his car without asking, she is also endearing and gentle with him. Passersthrough was brilliant and magical, though it is a thinking book. One must make connections in their own mind because the meaning of this book will be different for each individual reader. It is at once about love, time passing, good and evil. One of the most unusual books I have read this year, and I really enjoyed it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    The blurb for Passersthrough made the book sound really interesting. Sadly I never really got into the story. Hard to explain really more than it felt like the book just felt messy and you're left with questions. I just felt dissatisfied after finishing it. Was this it? Thankfully it's a short book, otherwise, I would probably have dnf it. The blurb for Passersthrough made the book sound really interesting. Sadly I never really got into the story. Hard to explain really more than it felt like the book just felt messy and you're left with questions. I just felt dissatisfied after finishing it. Was this it? Thankfully it's a short book, otherwise, I would probably have dnf it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alix

    This is a very unique but strange book. It deals with the relationship between an estranged father and daughter trying to recount what happened when the daughter went missing for a week in the forest when she was a child. It also is about the father’s odd relationship with a woman and her brother, who eventually help him to fully understand what happened to his daughter. There’s a melancholy vibe throughout the book and some genuinely harrowing and creepy scenes as well. I would describe Passerst This is a very unique but strange book. It deals with the relationship between an estranged father and daughter trying to recount what happened when the daughter went missing for a week in the forest when she was a child. It also is about the father’s odd relationship with a woman and her brother, who eventually help him to fully understand what happened to his daughter. There’s a melancholy vibe throughout the book and some genuinely harrowing and creepy scenes as well. I would describe Passersthrough as an atmospheric mystery with some supernatural elements. When it comes to the supernatural, nothing is ever fully explained though. Although, there is enough clues to deduce what happened to the daughter when she was a child and what is happening now. However, I did find the circumstances surrounding the ending to be vague. While I understand what happened, I don’t understand what led the characters to that particular situation. I don’t get the reasoning behind that final misadventure. So, the lack of explanation in that regard frustrated me a bit. Overall though, I really enjoyed this strange little story. It just would have been that much better if the reasoning behind the ending was a little more clear.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Thank you Netgalley and Highbridge Audio for this advance listener copy in exchange for my honest review. I just didn't like this book. I found it confusing and hard to follow. There were a couple of creepy scenes, one of which made me shudder, but the plot was weird. I guess I just didn't understand what was happening. I didn't like the fact that part of it was written in fascimile. All the dates and info just got confusing. It probably would have been easier to follow in print. The audio was goo Thank you Netgalley and Highbridge Audio for this advance listener copy in exchange for my honest review. I just didn't like this book. I found it confusing and hard to follow. There were a couple of creepy scenes, one of which made me shudder, but the plot was weird. I guess I just didn't understand what was happening. I didn't like the fact that part of it was written in fascimile. All the dates and info just got confusing. It probably would have been easier to follow in print. The audio was good. I liked the narrator. He's a big part of why I finished. It was a quick paced story, but the characters weren't relatable and I felt nothing for any of them. There will be some people out there that enjoy this book, but I just couldn't get into it. 2.25 stars as I was able to finish and the narrator was good.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LB

    Full disclosure: I received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, but that has not influenced my review. This book is...strange, confusing, propulsive. I had a hard time putting it down once I started. It made absolutely no sense but complete sense at the same time, somehow. The only thing I can think to compare it to is In the House in the Dark of the Woods. You're thrown into the plot without getting much backstory or details about the world, but the story and the mythos grow gradually and you j Full disclosure: I received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, but that has not influenced my review. This book is...strange, confusing, propulsive. I had a hard time putting it down once I started. It made absolutely no sense but complete sense at the same time, somehow. The only thing I can think to compare it to is In the House in the Dark of the Woods. You're thrown into the plot without getting much backstory or details about the world, but the story and the mythos grow gradually and you just accept that this is how the world of the story works because it makes a kind of sense within that world. I loved the idea of this place you can only find by getting lost, that the place calls people to it but it's never in the same physical location. And the idea of the passersthrough, that some beings can pass briefly between this world and whatever lies on the other side of the door. I like a story that unravels an old mystery, that deals with past trauma and repressed memories. It was a really interesting setup and I was invested in finding out the truth of what happened to Helen, but as it went on I was also invested in Benjamin and Melissa's relationship and whatever answers she was looking for as well. The cast of characters is odd, and it feels like we never fully understand most of their motivations (was Melissa so invested because she lost her own sister? Her involvement felt very personal even though she had no connection to Benjamin before chance brought them together). In a weird way they come to have a found family feeling, Benjamin, Melissa, Cisco, and Johnson. A weird, messed up, touched by the supernatural found family. I was so oddly touched by the very end, when Johnson chooses to go with Benjamin. I'm really glad I won a copy because I don't know that I would have come across this book otherwise. I think it's the kind of book that will stick in the back of my brain for a long time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jasper Sheeds

    Awfully disappointing. The beginning had such potential, middle kinda dropped off a bit, and then the ending was just so unsatisfying. I had more questions than I did in the beginning and just felt no payoff.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Hollen

    2.5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Wagner

    Aren’t we all “passersthrough” in this life that is at once challenging to understand, filled with emotion and a passage from life to death? This was an intriguing read, curious and not always clear so one had to make connections in your own mind. Was it about death, love, awareness of time passing, links to other worlds, after-death experiences, good and evil? Probably a bit of all. Benjamin seeks to re-connect with his daughter after 25 years. Lured by a woman and young boy, Benjamin follows a Aren’t we all “passersthrough” in this life that is at once challenging to understand, filled with emotion and a passage from life to death? This was an intriguing read, curious and not always clear so one had to make connections in your own mind. Was it about death, love, awareness of time passing, links to other worlds, after-death experiences, good and evil? Probably a bit of all. Benjamin seeks to re-connect with his daughter after 25 years. Lured by a woman and young boy, Benjamin follows a blue tarp and Sad Clown Lake that appears and disappears. This meandering, eerie tale addresses the mysteries of life/death, why and who we love, the long impacts of loss and murder, the potential for finding love again and the need to pursue losses until they are regained. A very unusual book that made me wonder in what world I am traveling. And sometimes in life, I think we cross into other worlds in our wondering and wandering. The idea that there are possibly “passersthrough” in our world seems hauntingly possible. And are we not all passers through from this life to another? And can we not be afraid together?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tory

    ...huh??

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Powell

    I listened to the audiobook for this and I think I would have liked to read it better because there was so much voicemails, emails. & faxes that the narrator had to read that I think it lost some of its appeal. But that may just be me. When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her dad and ended up going missing for a week. It’s now 25 years later and though Helen doesn’t remember much if anything about that fateful trip, she keeps her father at a distance, but he is desperate to keep her I listened to the audiobook for this and I think I would have liked to read it better because there was so much voicemails, emails. & faxes that the narrator had to read that I think it lost some of its appeal. But that may just be me. When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her dad and ended up going missing for a week. It’s now 25 years later and though Helen doesn’t remember much if anything about that fateful trip, she keeps her father at a distance, but he is desperate to keep her in his life, so he continues their relationship on her turns. When an encounter with some new neighbors introduced some new details about that missing week, they may just get the answers as to what really happened. This was an interesting idea but it kind of lacked execution in some areas. As well some parts dragged and some items were left unresolved, and that may have been the authors way of letting the reader decide what was going on, but it kind of felt like both the characters and the story were not completely developed. I rounded up from 2.5 because I kind of liked listening to it despite the previous mentioned stuff. Thanks to SoHo Press and NetGalley for this eArc in exchange for my review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    KelseAwesomeness

    This book... was such a fever dream. Passersthrough follows a father and estranged daughter and their attempt at reconnecting with each other after being away for many years. But it proves difficult because of the circumstances surrounding the daughter's estrangement--when she was a young child she was lost to the woods for nearly a week, returns feral and talking about creatures and a land that doesn't make sense. Now the grown up daughter is trying to connect with her father but pulls back whe This book... was such a fever dream. Passersthrough follows a father and estranged daughter and their attempt at reconnecting with each other after being away for many years. But it proves difficult because of the circumstances surrounding the daughter's estrangement--when she was a young child she was lost to the woods for nearly a week, returns feral and talking about creatures and a land that doesn't make sense. Now the grown up daughter is trying to connect with her father but pulls back whenever he brings up the past. In addition to this, a woman and her teenage brother cross paths with the father and things go from odd to strange very fast. If you like fever dreams with elements of horror, you'd likely enjoy this short novel. If you are like me and generally don't, then maybe skip this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    An oddly frustrating novel that explores the rekindling of connection between father and daughter after a period of separation. When Helen was 11 she disappeared on a camping trip she took with her father, Benjamin. Decades later the daughter wants to unravel the lost pieces of her memory that week she was lost. All while possibly rebuilding the bridge between father and daughter. That was the frustrating aspect for me. I could not wrap my mind around the weirdness of the daughter and full lack An oddly frustrating novel that explores the rekindling of connection between father and daughter after a period of separation. When Helen was 11 she disappeared on a camping trip she took with her father, Benjamin. Decades later the daughter wants to unravel the lost pieces of her memory that week she was lost. All while possibly rebuilding the bridge between father and daughter. That was the frustrating aspect for me. I could not wrap my mind around the weirdness of the daughter and full lack of connectability. What you'd think is an atmospheric family drama with a bit of creepy, turned into an unsettling hodgepodge of uniquely out of place characters, lack of familial warmth and very strange connections that cross the veil of life and death. I think I'm like most readers with this one where I'm not sure exactly what I read yet Benjamin's character makes me feel like I touched on something creepily magical and hauntingly unfeigned. Rock may intentionally leave a lot of the narrative open to speculation but almost too much of it was left that way. I needed a sense of plot connection that I almost missed myself. The audio narration was well done by Eric Marten. He has a tone that resonates with the way the atmosphere lingers. I felt like I caught things I may not have grasped with his reading style. HighBridge audio definitely has an eccentric audiobook with this novel. I'm still piecing together my feelings and it says something when a novel can leave you thinking. Thank you HighBridge audio for the opportunity to listen to and review this novel for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill Hsu

    I really loved the communications between the estranged father and daughter, mediated through technology, as they try to understand the mysterious event in their past, the father's not-quite-parallel interactions with the other young woman, and the strange dream-like events involving the lean-to and the lake. But I was disappointed that they didn't really come together for me. I really loved the communications between the estranged father and daughter, mediated through technology, as they try to understand the mysterious event in their past, the father's not-quite-parallel interactions with the other young woman, and the strange dream-like events involving the lean-to and the lake. But I was disappointed that they didn't really come together for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Tracy

    Passersthrough will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished it. This book was so very thought provoking that in some ways leaves you with just as many questions as when you first start it. It gets you thinking about more than what you see in this world. Just like the layers of an onion, this book has you thinking about the deeper layers to life and a reality we think we know, and reminds us there is still so much left to learn. This is the first book I've read by Peter Rock and it Passersthrough will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished it. This book was so very thought provoking that in some ways leaves you with just as many questions as when you first start it. It gets you thinking about more than what you see in this world. Just like the layers of an onion, this book has you thinking about the deeper layers to life and a reality we think we know, and reminds us there is still so much left to learn. This is the first book I've read by Peter Rock and it won't be the last.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Word Wandering

    I literally listened to this book twice back-to-back. The emotions of this family against the backdrop of fear that surrounds Helen’s disappearance makes for a punchy and frightful read A wandering lake. Missing memories. Ghost children. This book was a wild ride that I’ll be contemplating for a long time 🤩🤩 Comes out next week! Be sure to snag a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 ᴄʜɪᴄᴋᴇɴ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ:: 🐔🐔 (𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘻𝘺 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳 | 𝘍𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘳 I literally listened to this book twice back-to-back. The emotions of this family against the backdrop of fear that surrounds Helen’s disappearance makes for a punchy and frightful read A wandering lake. Missing memories. Ghost children. This book was a wild ride that I’ll be contemplating for a long time 🤩🤩 Comes out next week! Be sure to snag a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 ᴄʜɪᴄᴋᴇɴ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ:: 🐔🐔 (𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘻𝘺 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳 | 𝘍𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber (ambernreads)

    This story begins when Benjamin and his estranged daughter try to reconnect after over 20 years of separation. Helen, Benjamin's daughter, at the age of eleven had disappeared during one of their camping trips and showed up at a stranger's home many miles away, days later. The circumstances of her disappearance were strange, particularly due to this camping trip being at "Sad Clown Lake", a lake you can only find by getting lost. Benjamin was put under much scrutiny and was told to remove himsel This story begins when Benjamin and his estranged daughter try to reconnect after over 20 years of separation. Helen, Benjamin's daughter, at the age of eleven had disappeared during one of their camping trips and showed up at a stranger's home many miles away, days later. The circumstances of her disappearance were strange, particularly due to this camping trip being at "Sad Clown Lake", a lake you can only find by getting lost. Benjamin was put under much scrutiny and was told to remove himself from Helen's life, hence the estrangement. When the two reconnect, strange things begin happening in Benjamin's life once again. I have mixed feelings on this one! I very much enjoyed Rock's writing style, and the story is intriguing to say the least! The trope of "finding a magical/mystical place only by getting lost" is a fun one, and it was a pleasure to see it used in this story. I enjoyed the way the characters were written, the small town setting, and the horror elements were quite spooky! What was even more disturbing than the horror elements, though, was the way one particular character treated Benjamin, taking advantage of him in his old age. These things were all well done. What I wasn't completely on board with was the amount of open-endedness this short book contained, and the amount of boxes that were opened but not explored. This could definitely be intentional as the book touches on aging and memories, but for me it was just too much for such a short story. To the unexplored aspects, this ties into the open-endedness a bit; there were not many characters, but between a couple of aspects that were character related and then the magical elements, there was just one too many things I was left wondering about there as well. Overall I found this book worth the read, but I wasn't completely in love with it because by the end I was just confused and wanting more explanations. I would be interested in checking out more of Peter Rock's work, though, because I truly did enjoy his writing. I also had listened to this on audiobook and Eric Jason Martin did a fabulous job as a narrator as well! He was very engaging. Sometimes my mind will wander while listening to audiobooks, but between the actual story and his narration, my full attention stayed on the story. *I was given a copy of this title via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a very quick read, fast-paced. No filler. I would give 3.5 stars if I could a half rating. The issue for my rating being lower is that the author had great ideas but this is not a fully fleshed out book. The side characters of Melissa and Cisco honestly make no sense. Why are they even there? What is the tie between them and Benjamin? Melissa has researched Benjamin but there’s no real reason why. And why does Benjamin allow this stranger to quite literally barge into his life and begin This was a very quick read, fast-paced. No filler. I would give 3.5 stars if I could a half rating. The issue for my rating being lower is that the author had great ideas but this is not a fully fleshed out book. The side characters of Melissa and Cisco honestly make no sense. Why are they even there? What is the tie between them and Benjamin? Melissa has researched Benjamin but there’s no real reason why. And why does Benjamin allow this stranger to quite literally barge into his life and begin taking and borrowing his belongings? What is the connection with Cisco even? I assume Cisco is another foster child but, with melissa now being an adult, how did she meet him? And why did she die? Her death felt very nonsensical, just no further use to her character so kill her off. And what on earth with the creepy elements. Helen and Cisco both come back from Sad Clown Lake walking upside down, eyes in all directions, speaking in half words, but Benjamin doesn’t. Why was Benjamin not effected in the same way? Why were the kids effected at all? There wasn’t any explanation for that. And why did the kids speak with Benjamin at the lake? And then there’s Javier, who seems to exist to just point out that Cisco is around, even though Javier and Benjamin appear to have a grandfather/grandson type of relationship. And the synopsis of the book is really around Helen’s and Benjamin’s relationship and finding out what happened with Sad Clown Lake, but even that isn’t fully fleshed out. How did they find out that they had to be lost to get there? Once they did get there, what was the point of going back? How did Derek die? Why did Helen’s mother have so much animosity towards Benjamin and why did they think he was creepy? I’d assume when she picked Helen up after she was found, she was still walking and talking weirdly, so how would that point to Benjamin as being dangerous? The author had good ideas, but none quite got there. It would be great to see this reworked and lengthened into a novel that made sense because the premise is there and it’s brilliant.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryo

    I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This book is weird. The main character is Benjamin, a retiree in Portland who has reconnected with his daughter Helen after being estranged since she was a child. Helen had disappeared for a week while the two of them were camping, and their estrangement began after that. The book is fairly short and yet seems to try to incorporate far too many plot elements into it. Benjamin has a run-in with a dog, which introduces him to an odd w I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This book is weird. The main character is Benjamin, a retiree in Portland who has reconnected with his daughter Helen after being estranged since she was a child. Helen had disappeared for a week while the two of them were camping, and their estrangement began after that. The book is fairly short and yet seems to try to incorporate far too many plot elements into it. Benjamin has a run-in with a dog, which introduces him to an odd woman named Melissa, who has her own family trauma, and her odd younger brother Cisco, but I never felt like Melissa's background was thoroughly explored, and she felt like an eccentric character thrown in just for the eccentricity and to move the plot along in certain ways. There's some exploration of what happened during the week that Helen disappeared when she was eleven years old, but after that mystery gets a bit resolved, it just gets dropped. Helen installs a machine that transcribes Benjamin's spoken words as well as a fax machine they use to communicate, which seems to be some kind of exploration of communication between young and old, but that plot point never seems to go anywhere. And on top of all that, there's some weird, dream-like sequences involving a lake that keeps appearing out of nowhere, which is supposed to be related to some kind of connection between the living and the dead, but that doesn't really get explained, and the book ends before any kind of resolution. I really wanted more explanation of the characters' backstories and their motivations, but I came away from this book feeling disappointed. On the plus side, it is pretty short, and the prose style is interesting and engaging enough.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid Stephens

    At age eleven, Helen disappeared into the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered. @5 years later, Helen and her father Benjamin, finally try to piece together what really happened the day she disappeared and ruined their lives. Needless to say, the story that was told is not what actually happened, but no one believed the 11- year-old girl's story. So after meeting an odd woman who takes way too man At age eleven, Helen disappeared into the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered. @5 years later, Helen and her father Benjamin, finally try to piece together what really happened the day she disappeared and ruined their lives. Needless to say, the story that was told is not what actually happened, but no one believed the 11- year-old girl's story. So after meeting an odd woman who takes way too many liberties with an old man she had just met, helps him find not just the truth of her daughter's rescue but to find where she went that day. The story is ok. Not great, but not a waste of time per se. I felt lost a lot. Just as I would get into the story there was a sudden change or happening that had me hitting the back button, assuming my mind wandered and I missed something. I honestly still don't know what happened as the story ended. The term Passerthrough is used a lot but I was always under the impression it was about aliens or time travelers. People who passed through our time or world briefly then moved on. Here it is used almost like that, people who exist between two places, or two times, except they are usually dead. I think...like I said I got lost a lot in such a short story. I did enjoy the narrator, who did a wonderful job reading this and with the voice changes. Thanks to @netgalley, HighBridge Audio, Peter Rock and Eric Jason Martin for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alexis (Lexi.84.02)

    4.5 Wow, this short novel packed a punch and I now want more by this AUTHOR like now! The narrator was flawless and made the story feel like you were watching a TV Show on Netflix. This story follows Benjamin, and his daughter Helen; whos bond is through camping and exploring the Mountains toghether. Helen, age 11, goes missing while camping with her dad only to return a week later without any explanation. 25 years later estranged daughter and father duo reconnect to finally address what happene 4.5 Wow, this short novel packed a punch and I now want more by this AUTHOR like now! The narrator was flawless and made the story feel like you were watching a TV Show on Netflix. This story follows Benjamin, and his daughter Helen; whos bond is through camping and exploring the Mountains toghether. Helen, age 11, goes missing while camping with her dad only to return a week later without any explanation. 25 years later estranged daughter and father duo reconnect to finally address what happened to Helen while was was away for a week in the Wilderness. I was confused when the documents were presented in the book by fax, recordings, and other forms of documents and found myself getting quite lost in translation, however, that didn't inhibit me to want to listen to more of the book. This book is both eerie and ominous as the family duo navigate through the history of what happened, and the haunting memories that get conjured up while discovering the deeper meaning to life and death. Warning: The book is left with more questions than answers and I think it was intended to be that way as different experiences will give different perspectives of what the ending was trying to portray. I typically do not like open ended endings, however, I felt a deeper connection to what this specific ending represented, because it allowed the reader to choose what it represented for you and your own personal beliefs and interpretation. For those who love a slown burn horror and question what happens to us after was die, this book is for you.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Passersthrough is a cerebral, haunting, thought-provoking novel centered on a father and daughter who are trying to rebuild their relationship after decades of estrangement. When Helen was 11 years old, she disappeared while on a camping trip with her father Benjamin in Mount Rainier National Park. She reappeared a week later hundreds of miles from where she was lost with no memory of the time she was gone. Soon after Helen's reentry into his life, Benjamin meets a strange woman and boy who seem Passersthrough is a cerebral, haunting, thought-provoking novel centered on a father and daughter who are trying to rebuild their relationship after decades of estrangement. When Helen was 11 years old, she disappeared while on a camping trip with her father Benjamin in Mount Rainier National Park. She reappeared a week later hundreds of miles from where she was lost with no memory of the time she was gone. Soon after Helen's reentry into his life, Benjamin meets a strange woman and boy who seem unusually invested in discovering the truth about Helen's disappearance. Nothing about Passersthrough is straightforward; this is a book that requires a lot of interpretation on the reader's part, and likely each reader will interpret it differently. For me, this was a book about the reverberations of trauma and grief, aging, and unconditional love. It's also an atmospheric and sinister novel, with well-integrated horror elements that truly unnerved me. Some unique plot elements -- locations one can only find by getting lost, beings that are merely "passersthrough" in our world -- made this such a riveting, unsettling reading experience. Some aspects of the plot were a bit too cerebral, specifically in the final scenes of the book, and this is certainly a book that asks more questions than it actually answers. But for the right reader, Passersthrough is a strange, horrific, surprisingly tender novel about being lost and being found.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Naedrax

    When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her, but went missing for a week. Now 25yrs later Helen doesn't remember anything from that time but keeps her father Benjamin at a distance still. Preferring to talk to him through faxes, emails or voice messages. Benjamin is desperate to keep his connection with his daughter & understand why she is hesitant of him. A chance meeting with neighbours Melissa & her son Cisco might help get Benjamin some answers on Helen's missing week. I listened t When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her, but went missing for a week. Now 25yrs later Helen doesn't remember anything from that time but keeps her father Benjamin at a distance still. Preferring to talk to him through faxes, emails or voice messages. Benjamin is desperate to keep his connection with his daughter & understand why she is hesitant of him. A chance meeting with neighbours Melissa & her son Cisco might help get Benjamin some answers on Helen's missing week. I listened to the audiobook & was a quick listen. The narrator Eric Jason Martin did an amazing job bringing this to life. It was an interesting premise & liked the idea of what a 'passersthrough' is, but found the story lacked plot / details. I wish a few moments through out the book had been extended out a bit more to build out the world & really pull you in. You don't get a lot of answers & I'm wondering if this is to leave it up the interoperation of the reader / listener to decide what is going on...? But without a few more details feels like was only half a story & didn't get to know the characters enough. I did enjoy Peter Rock's writing style & wouldn't mind checking out more of his work. Thank you Netgalley for the audio arc.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Naedrax

    When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her, but went missing for a week. Now 25yrs later Helen doesn't remember anything from that time but keeps her father Benjamin at a distance still. Preferring to talk to him through faxes, emails or voice messages. Benjamin is desperate to keep his connection with his daughter & understand why she is hesitant of him. A chance meeting with neighbours Melissa & her son Cisco might help get Benjamin some answers on Helen's missing week. I listened t When Helen was 11 she went on a camping trip with her, but went missing for a week. Now 25yrs later Helen doesn't remember anything from that time but keeps her father Benjamin at a distance still. Preferring to talk to him through faxes, emails or voice messages. Benjamin is desperate to keep his connection with his daughter & understand why she is hesitant of him. A chance meeting with neighbours Melissa & her son Cisco might help get Benjamin some answers on Helen's missing week. I listened to the audiobook & was a quick listen. The narrator Eric Jason Martin did an amazing job bringing this to life. It was an interesting premise & liked the idea of what a 'passersthrough' is, but found the story lacked plot / details. I wish a few moments through out the book had been extended out a bit more to build out the world & really pull you in. You don't get a lot of answers & I'm wondering if this is to leave it up the interoperation of the reader / listener to decide what is going on...? But without a few more details feels like was only half a story & didn't get to know the characters enough. I did enjoy Peter Rock's writing style & wouldn't mind checking out more of his work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ira Smith

    Twenty five years before this book begins, Helen, age eleven, disappears while on a camping trip with her father, Benjamin. She’s found a week later, a hundred miles from where she disappeared. The circumstances are never explained, and the incident leads to a divorce. Now, after the death of her mother, Helen tries to reconnect with Benjamin, but after her visit, her contact is mostly through faxes and phone calls. Benjamin has a chance encounter with Melissa and Cisco, siblings who live near hi Twenty five years before this book begins, Helen, age eleven, disappears while on a camping trip with her father, Benjamin. She’s found a week later, a hundred miles from where she disappeared. The circumstances are never explained, and the incident leads to a divorce. Now, after the death of her mother, Helen tries to reconnect with Benjamin, but after her visit, her contact is mostly through faxes and phone calls. Benjamin has a chance encounter with Melissa and Cisco, siblings who live near him, and who seem to know what happened all those years ago. They try to help Benjamin understand what happened. As the book progresses, odd things begin to happen, creating an eerie atmosphere to the novel. The narration of the audiobook by Eric Jason Martin was outstanding, helping to create an atmosphere, not so much of dread, but of creepiness and oddness. The book itself doesn’t really have an ending (which I normally hate but somehow have no problem with in this book), leaving one to provide their own vision as to what happened. My thanks to HighBridge Audio and to Netgalley for providing an ALC of this fascinating novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Thanks to NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for the ALC of this audiobook. Twenty-five years after Helen disappeared for a week in the woods while camping with her father before being returned a week later, the two are estranged. They reconnect at Benjamin’s home in Portland, Oregon to try and figure out what happened all those years ago. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets a woman and boy who want to help him learn more about his daughters disappearance and lead him to a “murder house, uncanny possession, an Thanks to NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for the ALC of this audiobook. Twenty-five years after Helen disappeared for a week in the woods while camping with her father before being returned a week later, the two are estranged. They reconnect at Benjamin’s home in Portland, Oregon to try and figure out what happened all those years ago. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets a woman and boy who want to help him learn more about his daughters disappearance and lead him to a “murder house, uncanny possession, and a bone-filled body of water known as Sad Clown Lake, a lake ‘that could only be found by getting lost, that was never in the same place twice’.” I was intrigued by the summary and was ready for a wild and creepy ride. Overall, it was fast-paced and I finished it quickly, but overall it was just okay. Maybe I should have done it in print? Sometimes I don’t click with male presenting narrators. I lost the thread a little here and there, and for such a short book, I felt like I should have been invested the whole time. That’s okay, though, it’s still a cool premise, and it you like creepy and mysterious, this one might be right up your alley. It’s out on April 19th.

  30. 5 out of 5

    millie

    i did receive early access to the audiobook version of this from netgalley, though my review is my own and not influenced by that WOW ! like i said i wasn’t sure where it was going and it definitely surprised me, but not so much that it didn’t make sense to end that way. I really really enjoyed the journey this took me on and the few characters we met along the way. even tho there weren’t a ton of characters or crazy plot, i enjoyed it immensely! the author was really good at creating this eerie i did receive early access to the audiobook version of this from netgalley, though my review is my own and not influenced by that WOW ! like i said i wasn’t sure where it was going and it definitely surprised me, but not so much that it didn’t make sense to end that way. I really really enjoyed the journey this took me on and the few characters we met along the way. even tho there weren’t a ton of characters or crazy plot, i enjoyed it immensely! the author was really good at creating this eerie atmosphere and capturing grief and longing well.... literally my only qualm with this book is the amount of times the author uses “awakened” and i’m not sure if i only noticed that because i was listening to the audiobook or what, but it really wasn’t that big of a deal , i’d also say i got kinda sick of the narrators voice w like an hour left , but still nothing major what a great short mystery/horror book !!! tw animal death and skinning ... basically don’t read if u can’t stomach breaking down a deer to eat it!

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