“The room beyond” by Stephanie Elmas

Is it true that we see what we want to see and not what is actually there?  An intriguing question which is the basis for the novel “The room beyond”.  Told via dual narratives over one hundred years apart, the story asks this question again and again.

Sounds good.  Add some Victorian gothic romantic suspense and you’ve got the makings of a great novel.  But somehow I have to say that – for me – the book just fell short.  The dual narrative is a writing device which I quite like.  The British setting is one I prefer.  But still, the characters lacked depth and left me unsatisfied.  I found them one-dimensional and unsympathetic.  At times I found the plot and characters confusing.  While reading it I frequently wished that I was watching a movie so that I would at least have visuals to aid in my understanding.  Although I love a good historical novel, this one in my opinion relied too heavily on the occult and paranormal.  Readers who relish occult fiction might find it wonderful, but I just cannot recommend it with any sincerity.  Don’t get me wrong, I was invested in the novel enough to finish every word….

With themes of sexual obsession and ghostly immortality it might just be someone’s ‘cup of tea’.  But not mine.

Stephanie Elmas‘ debut novel has a good premise, adequate writing, yet something was missing.   Not sure what…


Stephanie Elmas was born in Hong Kong. She works as an English teacher. Stephanie loves crochet, travel, lighthouses, and is a self-confessed terrible cook. Her first novel “The Room Beyond” was self-published and was a huge success. It has sold over thirty thousand copies and continues to do well.
Stephanie lives in Surrey with her husband and their three children.

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, debut novels, ghost stories, Historical fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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