The Blackwater saga is my favorite book of 2021. It was written by Michael McDowell in the 1980s, who is best known for writing the screenplays for The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice.
Blackwater tells the tale of a shape-shifting river monster that becomes the matriarch of a wealthy southern family. The book is 80% epic, southern-gothic, soap opera combined with 20% Lovecraftian horror. Elinore is one of my favorite characters of all time. Even when she’s doing the most horrible things, you can’t help but think what a bad-ass she is.