They promised me you wouldn’t be hurt,” Guy said. “And you haven’t been, really. I mean, suppose you’d had a baby and lost it; wouldn’t it be the same?”

Rosemary’s Baby by bestselling author, Ira Levin, is not your standard story. In a New York narrative, the 1960s novel centres on a satanic cult attempting to possess a woman’s womb.

They promised me you wouldn’t be hurt,” Guy said. “And you haven’t been, really. I mean, suppose you’d had a baby and lost it; wouldn’t it be the same?

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Newly-weds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are overjoyed to be moving into a prestigious New York apartment block where they can start their family. The seemingly idyllic setting is counteracted by our mounting dread as we, along with Rosemary, begin to understand just what she’s walked into. There are few things I dislike more than the cliché “things are not what they seem”. However, it must be said, that there are few books that manage to embody it as well as this one.

Striking just the right mix between eerie and absurd, the novel’s strength lies in the fact that the evil lurking on the sidelines resides in the mundane: there is no foreboding castle on the moors, no unpleasant surprises in the attic. There is only a New York apartment, Rosemary’s enduring desire to have a baby and above all, the elderly, seemingly harmless couple living in the flat next door…

Words: Catherine Karellis

Image source: Rosemary's Baby, 1968 movie poster directed by Roman Polanski