Sundial by Catriona Ward is a tale that pushes the question, “How far would you go for those that you love?” to the most extreme limit. Filled with family dysfunction, scientific testing, and love, this story will take readers on quite a dark trip!
Animal testing, animal death, child abuse, domestic abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, toxic relationship, miscarriage & more
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Sundial by Catriona Ward
How cool is that cover?!? This version, published on March 1st, 2022 by Tor Nightfire, was created by Corey Brickley and Katie Klimowicz. I’m obsessed! The colors are stunning and the illustration definitely captures some of the darkness that readers will discover within the pages.
In regard to the plot, I went into this one dark. I had heard a few reader friends raving about it, so I wanted to know as little as possible!
I will admit, the toxic relationship that we get a very heavy dose of at the beginning almost made me put this one down. It was so powerfully written to the point that it triggered me, and that came back in the trough of the waves throughout the rest story. So if you can stomach that, the crest of each wave will serve up even more heaviness as you continue reading!
If you need content warnings, I highly recommend you do some additional research from other reviewers before diving into this, as I’m sure I missed plenty with the list I provided in my opening.
I couldn’t believe how this story served up one horrific element after another… When I thought things couldn’t get more intense, the author proved me wrong. Set in two main story arcs, we see what is happened in the present, mixed with a story from the past. Each timeline twists and turns around one another until the explosive ending…
And with that, I will leave the rest of the discovery about this story and it’s plot up to you to discover!
Let’s jump to my favorite passages so you can get a taste of the wonderful writing.
My Favorite Passages from Sundial
When people say something is “unthinkable,” what they usually mean is that they don’t want to think it. They are resistant to an idea. But that is not what unthinkable means. I understand that, now. It means to be confronted with a thought so vast, dark, and monstrous that it will not fit into any known shapes in your mind. It is poison and madness flowering behind your eyes. I clear my throat to free it from the taste of old soda. The worst part is that I’m not as surprised as I should be.
It’s cold inside the MRI machine. Narrow, cold, and full of noise like ghosts knocking on your coffin. It’s hard to breathe in here but I always make sure I’m smiling when I come out, because Jack goes second.
Mom stops. She looks thin and empty- like the story’s been inside her, keeping her upright all this time. Now it’s coming out she’s deflating like a balloon.
You can only do three things with danger: run away from it, fight it, or make friends with it. I don’t know which one to do.
Kids are mirrors, reflecting back everything that happens to them.
My Final Thoughts on Sundial
While I can’t say that I liked this one, I can definitely say that the storytelling was very intense! Every time I set it down for a break, I realized that this story had left me wandering around in a bit of a daze, feeling very queasy.
Sundial is a must read for fans of stories with really twisted and dark dysfunctional families.
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Thanks for reading!