“I know how treacherous thoughts can be.
That if you are left alone with them for too long, they can turn against you.”
1947 Alice Miller – has lost her fiance in WWII and works in a legal office. She applies for a job as a governess and is delighted when her application is approved. Eager to escape the city and her past, she travels to Winterbourne, in Cornwall where she will work caring for the twins of Captain Jonathan de Grey, who is a widower and was injured in the war.
Once ensconced at Winterbourne Alice finds herself enjoying her position. She comes to love the children and their aloof and handsome father.
2017 Rachel Wright– runs an art gallery in New York. Rachel lost her beloved husband Seth in a terrorist attack. Now she is having a relationship with a rich businessman named Aaron Grewal. She is an adoptee who has always wanted to know the history of her birth-parents. When she receives a letter saying she has inherited a house in Cornwall, she thinks that she will finally find out the information she wants.
She finds many diaries written by her Aunt Constance as well as an old antique mirror that simultaneously repulses her and beguiles her… She meets a neighbouring farmer named Jack who has lived in the area for most of his life. Jack knows some of Winterbourne’s history.
Anyone who enjoys gothic fiction with more than a few paranormal elements will surely enjoy this novel by Rebecca James. That being said, there were few surprises within its pages and I found the narrative quite predictable. Not always a bad thing, depending upon your mood.
The ambiance and atmosphere of the creepy old house Winterbourne, high atop a Cornish cliff was aptly and deftly described.
Alice Miller was a more than interesting character. She was sympathetic, but devious, and damaged with a criminal past. She coveted everything that once belonged to the beautiful wife of Captain de Grey – to her detriment.
Rachel’s story, in the modern day, was compelling as well. Her search for her genealogical roots was well portrayed and her character easy to empathize with.
The ending of the novel was creepy – as would be expected. As I said, nothing really surprised me. However, I did enjoy the read and it was perfect book for a chilly autumn night.My rating is 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars for Goodreads and Amazon.
Publication date: March 17, 2020
ISBN: 9781250230058 ASIN: B07XBCXR4D 368 pages
Rebecca James worked in publishing for several years before leaving to write full-time, and is now the author of several novels written under a pseudonym, as well as The Woman in the Mirror under her own name. Her favorite things are autumn walks, Argentinean red wine and curling up in the winter with a good old-fashioned ghost story. Rebecca James was born in Sydney, Australia, but now lives in Bristol, England with her husband and two daughters.