Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar tells the story of 20-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp after her adoptive mother and protector dies. Hannah falls in love with Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician, but after her mysterious birth mother, outcast as a witch and rumoured to commune with the dead, comes back into Hannah’s life, she 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.

  • Type: Fiction, Adult
  • Number of Pages: 316
  • Original Publication Date: Mar 2015
  • Publisher: ECW Press

What people are saying:

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

An intense debut bolstered by a powerful sense of place.

  • — The Globe and Mail

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.

  • — Publishers Weekly

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

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, as though ‘something’s wrong. It’s in the air, in the floorboards, everywhere. Everything feels threatening.’ It all feels tangible, as if what’s imagined is made real by its persuasion over the human senses.

  • — Broken Pencil


  • Editors’ Pick, Canadian Spotlight, and Best Books of March 2015

Written By:

Alexandra Grigorescu

She is the author of Cauchemar. She’s been published in Acta Victoriana and the Hart House Review, and has worked as a writer/editor for various Toronto websites and magazines.

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