“We Spread” by Iain Reid – Book Review

O.M.G.! What a  creepy and unsettling novel. I’m astounded that a young author like Iain Reid could so eloquently and sympathetically write of advanced old age. His understanding depiction of the vulnerabilities, loneliness, frailties, and memory loss, were quite outstanding.

The only thing this novel had in common with Iain Reid’s other novels is the exemplary writing.  His prose is edgy, compelling, and, in this instance, permeated with foreboding and paranoia. You know the quote Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.  Oh, and another thing his novels have in common? They leave the reader wondering… wondering what was true, what was engineered by the author to deceive the reader, what just happened? Was Penny actually in jeopardy from a sinister force or persons,  or was it just the failing of an elderly mind? Penny’s advanced age coupled with the fact that she had no family or friends as support made her so helpless.

I’ll be reflecting on this book for some time.  I have so many questions. This defies being slotted into any one genre. The book is open to interpretation by the individual reader. For that reason it would make an excellent choice for book club discussions.

The writing and unique story kept me riveted throughout.  If you want a book that makes you feel uneasy while wondering how it could possibly end, then this might be the best novel for you. A very memorable read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Gallery/Scout Press via Edelweiss  at my request,  for my own reading enjoyment and the writing of this review. Publication date: September 27, 2022

ISBN: 9781982169350 – ASIN: ‎ B09RX2LW56 – 304 pages

Iain Reid (photo copyright Lucas Tingle)

Iain Reid (photo copyright Lucas Tingle)

Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction, One Bird’s Choice, and The Truth About Luck, which was one of The Globe and Mail’s best books of 2013. In 2015, he received the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Reid’s work has appeared in a variety of publications throughout North America. He is the author of the very suspenseful and thought-provoking novels “I’m thinking of ending things” and “Foe“. “We Spread” is his third novel.

Follow him on Twitter @Reid_Iain or on Instagram.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Canadian fiction, Edelweiss, Horror, Psychological thrillers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “We Spread” by Iain Reid – Book Review

  1. Reid really has a unique talent from turning the everyday/mundane into the terrifying and creepy, doesn’t he?


  2. Great review!
    The book seems to home in on some of the things that I fear most about aging.
    But I will say, I don’t normally like books where the author never tells you how much of what was happening was in the narrator’s mind, and to what extent the narrator is vindicated in their suspicions.


  3. Okay, you’ve convinced me! Excellent review, Lynne💜


  4. Sounds like a wonderful read.


  5. I didn’t recognise the name Lynne, until you mentioned ‘I’ve Been Thinking of Ending Things’. No wonder this book made you feel unsettled, and with lots to think about! Dare I add this to my tbr? 🤔😱


  6. Shaharee says:

    This author seems to have the Stephen King ability to turn a very common fact into a nightmarish experience. His debut novel “I’m thinking of ending it” evolved also from a very common thought that many people nurse when the first glitter wears off on a new relation straight to the psychopathological abyss of “how we never really know someone else”. And now some elderly lady who’s mind is slowly slipping away starts to doubt everyone and everything, her own thoughts included. As you pointed it out, a deep rooted paranoia seems to be the driving force behind this author’s writing. With those writers of well written psychological thrillers I always wonder about the autobiographical dimension of the novel.


    • I agree with your comments and comparison to Stephen King. They both know that the everyday can be more frightening than the outlandish. I’ve read all three of this author’s novels and will doubtless be reading many more.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol says:

    Excellent review but I’ll pass on this!


  8. Carla says:

    Oh wow, I think I am getting closer all the time to ending up in care to be able to read a book like this, Lynne. It does sound very emotional and thought provoking.


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