This was my last read for the month of October. Only fitting as it had a ghostly element and was touted as a gothic thriller novel.
Havenwood Manor, the creepy, crumbling old house in Hampshire was an excellent setting for such a book. The mercurial moods of Eliza’s new husband were as unsettling as the house itself.
“It was the sort of house meant to sit in one’s imagination and take up residence.”
There was much about the writing that I liked. It flowed well, and some of the descriptions were vividly rendered.
The protagonist, Eliza, at age twenty-five seemed to have much more modern attitudes and sensibilities than a young woman of that age should have had in the year 1897. She was a conundrum as one moment she was acting like a modern woman, then the next she was relying heavily on laudanum to quench her anxieties. It just didn’t seem realistic to me…
This gothic romantic thriller was infused with many elements of the genre, and espoused themes of guilt, betrayal, avarice, and family secrets.
This is an auspicious debut novel, but one that I would have appreciated more if the characterization were truer to the time period.
This review was written voluntarily, and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley.ISBN: 9781542032117 – ASIN: B08Y8KRTF2 – 367 pages
Originally from the Ozarks, Paulette Kennedy now divides her time between her Missouri hometown and Los Angeles, where she lives with her family and a menagerie of rescue pets. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys tending to her garden, knitting, and finding unique vintage treasures at thrift stores and flea markets.
As a history lover, she can get lost for days in her research—learning everything she can about the places in her stories and what her characters might have experienced in the past.
Paulette’s next release is THE WITCH OF TIN MOUNTAIN, a witchy southern gothic set in rural Northern Arkansas during the Great Depression, coming to you February 1st, 2023 from Lake Union Publishing.