It's not quite weird fiction; it has none of the unreality I associate with that term. It's horrific in spots, but it's much quieter than a lot of the horror I read. It's too contemporary, in feel and narrative rather than in setting, to be a classic ghost story.
But damn, it's good
I'm reminded of Stephen King's strange small towns--Wink is much more idealized than Derry or Castle Rock, which have their dark little knots; but then again, its idealization is part of the horror. And I'm reminded of Neil Gaiman. I'm not a huge Gaiman fan, usually; I tend to find his work more glossy than touching. But he does have some lovely things to say about the little horrors of family and expectation, and he writes those things large and strange, and that definitely happened here. (I'm not trying to say that the book's derivative! I'm trying to explain what appeals by drawing comparisons.)
Sometimes it seems like there are half a dozen threads of story (particularly towards the end, when the nature of Wink is being illustrated), but it's never fractured; someone called it sprawling, and I think that suits. It's well-written (it really
is), calmly voiced, and while I wish that there was a little more of it (and we're talking about a 662-plus-backmatter pound-and-a-half trade, here) I am very happy that I read it.