“The Last Heir to Blackwood Library” by Hester Fox – Book Review

“Heaven truly was an untouched stash of books, just waiting to be opened and read.”

This is a gothic ghost story with fantastical elements. There were many parts of this novel that I really appreciated. The protagonist’s bibliophilia for one. This is an homage to books and those who love them. It is easy to discern the author’s love of the classics, many of which were mentioned within the pages. In particular, this was an homage to the novel “Jane Eyre”, and many elements of that novel correlate to this one. Not least of which the setting, the moors of Yorkshire. The second thing that resonated with me was the unexpected inheritance. That trope takes me back to the books I loved as an adolescent.

“She had exchanged the constraints of poverty for the gilded bonds on wealth.”

The brooding handyman/chauffeur, the taciturn servants, all served to make the book extremely atmospheric. Blackwood Abbey had all the elements that I love to read about, right down to the hidden passageways, mysterious locked doors, and secret chambers.

I applauded how the author made mention of the inequality of women during the 1920s. The protagonist Ivy Radcliffe loved reading and had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and learning – something that was denied her.

The stunning cover with the word library in the title coupled with a Yorkshire setting made it almost imperative that I read it, though I hadn’t read this author’s previous books. At times the plot turned to paranormal horror story themes, not really my ‘cup of tea’.

I enjoyed the ghost story element, but couldn’t quite appreciate how the library was almost a sentient being, with its ancient history of evil monks and alchemy. Perhaps readers who like the fantasy genre will be more appreciative of these aspects of the book. I relished many aspects of the writing, but felt my personal enjoyment would have been greater had it stuck more to a purely historical fiction genre.

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 Graydon House/HarperCollins via Edelweiss.

Publication date: April 4, 2023

ISBN:  9781525804786 – ASIN:  B0B1JD7K21 – 336 pages

Hester Fox is a full-time writer and mother, with a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She is the author of such novels as The Witch of Willow Hall, A Lullaby for Witches, and most recently, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library. A New England transplant, she now lives in rural Virginia with her husband and their two children.

Connect with Hester Fox via her website, Twitter and/or Instagram.

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, Edelweiss, Historical fiction, Horror, romantic suspense and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “The Last Heir to Blackwood Library” by Hester Fox – Book Review

  1. Carla says:

    I had waffled on this one as books about libraries call to me, but the horror aspect and paranormal is not my thing. I’m glad I made the decision to pass. Nice review, Lynne.


  2. Pingback: “The Final Inheritor to Blackwood Library” di Hester Fox – Recensione libro @GraydonHouse @HarperCollins #TheLastHeirToBlackwoodLibrary #BookReview – My Blog

  3. I’m curious about this one. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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