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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Ascender, Volume 1: The Haunted Galaxy by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Dear Martin by Nic Stone Death by Tea by Alex Erickson
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold
Go to Sleep (I Miss You) by Lucy Knisley
Gone with the Whisker by Laurie Cass
The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn
The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane by Carolyn Keene
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Robin Mayhall
Heartwood Hotel: Home Again by Kallie George
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire Part Three by Michael Dante DiMartino
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
Nate Expectations by Tim Federle
No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton
Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn and Nicole Goux
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
This is Rome by Miroslav Sasek
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

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The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home: 04/24/20

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor  is the third Night Vale novel. This one fleshes out the titular character, diving into the story of her life, her death, and her transcendence. Not bad for a character who began as a gag in Episode 14 - The Man in the Tan Jacket. She's mentioned during the "Word from our sponsors" bit:

Today’s program has been sponsored by the physical act of gulping. For thousands of years, gulping has been there for human beings when they needed an expressive gesture of the throat. Whether you want to indicate nervousness about an upcoming test or appointment, fear of the Faceless Old Woman who lives secretly in your home, or just want to ingest milk faster than with regular swallowing, gulping is the way to go.

Most of this novel is set on and around the Mediterranean sea in the late 1700s and through the 1800s, except for some modern day (2015 and 2020) monologues by the Faceless old Woman.

The woman never names herself. She gives her origin as an island estate in the Mediterranean sea where she and her father lived. The estate has fallen on hard times and she learns over the course of her childhood that her father has turned to smuggling to make ends meet.

From the places he's described going, and later from her travels, it's established that their Europe is the alternate dimension one that Night Vale exists in.

Throughout the narrator's life, she describes seeing a strange figure of a man. He seems to fit the basic physical appearance as the Thistle Man in Alice Isn't Dead (2018).

Chart showing the three Night Vale novels in relation to each other on the RDS

As with all of Fink's novels, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home sits on the road narrative spectrum. Looking just at the Night Vale books, we see a tight triangle in the horror end of the spectrum. Namely, the horror comes from a fantastical route.

Like It Devours!, the traveler is a privileged one (00). Ultimately that traveler is the narrator who gains through experience the ability to be in all places at once, but early on it's the sailors of the Order of the Labyrinth.

Like Welcome to Night Vale, the destination is uhoria (CC). The narrator manages to exist well beyond her own lifetime. She also, of course, ends up in Night Vale, a place defined in part by it's alternative take on how time works.

But like It Devours, the narrator's path is through the labyrinth (99). It is also inspired and driven and misguided by it. The Order of the Labyrinth ships are her initial inspiration to take up a life of smuggling. Later her realization that the Order is timeless and uninterested in the ways of mankind leads her to her route, one driven on a desire for revenge. It is that thirst for revenge which leads her to her home(s) in Night Vale.

All together, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home is a novel of privileged travelers going to and through uhoria via the labyrinth (00CC99).

Four stars

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