The House in the Pines
by Ana Reyes
(Dutton, 3 January 2023)
Interview by Anna Roins
THE HOUSE IN THE PINES is Ana Reyes’s debut novel about a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers deep in the woods is hard to believe. In our chat, she talks about her inspiration for the story, the support she had along the way, and the challenges.
“This is an absolute, can’t-put-it-down thriller… It’s truly a wild ride that had me flying through chapter after chapter—which I think is the perfect way to kick off your year of reading.”
—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Jan ’23 Pick)
About the book
Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank, whom they’d been spending time with all summer.
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.
At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads leading back to Frank’s cabin….
Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing whether we can fully confront the past and return home.
About Ana Reyes
Ana Reyes has an MFA from Louisiana State University, and her work has appeared in Bodega, Pear Noir, The New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing to older adults at Santa Monica College.
You can find out more about Ana Reyes here:-
Some questions asked of the author in this interview:
How and why it took her seven years to write her novel.
What she found challenging in looking for the right agent.
How the story had changed from a magical realism book with some ‘mysterious moments’ to a mystery thriller with the generous assistance of her agent.
How she was inspired by her own experiences to depict her main character as an unreliable narrator (or narraTOR if you’re Australian) 😉
One of the most memorable moments in her life that involved powerhouse Reece Witherspoon
What Ana is working on right now
Check out our AUTHORLINK video interview with Ana Reyes and our columnist, Anna Roins!