Surprisingly this book had already been published, about a year ago, by a different publisher, but this edition was publsihed very recently – on 11th of April!
This is actually my first book by Lauren A. Forry and first “scary psychological thriller” in quite a long time. I read thrillers ALL THE TIME but they are usually not “horror scary”, more like “mystery scary”.
Amid the terror of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca have had their share of tragedy, having lost their mother to the Blitz and their father to suicide. Forced to leave London to work for the mysterious Mr. Brownwell at Abigale Hall, they soon learn that the worst is yet to come. The vicious housekeeper, Mrs. Pollard, seems hell-bent on keeping the ghostly secrets of the house away from the sisters and forbids them from entering the surrounding town—and from the rumors that circulate about Abigale Hall. When Eliza uncovers some blood-splattered books, ominous photographs, and portraits of a mysterious woman, she begins to unravel the mysteries of the house, but with Rebecca falling under Mrs. Pollard’s spell, she must act quickly to save her sister, and herself, from certain doom.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – The creepy and sometimes quite disturbing atmosphere. Let me just put it out there, I loved it! It might not be Stephen King’s horror story, but it was definitely creepy enough for a chicken like me. Don’t get me wrong though, the disturbing parts were actually disturbing and more about this later, how I loved and hated it at the same time.
2 – The Characters! Eliza was a great protagonist. Usually these types of books are more plot oriented and we go through the whole book without actually noticing what our character is made of, but not this one. There were moments when my only thought was: “DO I ACTUALLY LIKE ELIZA?? WHAT DARK SECRETS IS SHE HIDING??” And that is great! I honestly hate books that don’t make me feel anything towards the characters, unless they really have a strong plot to balance it out.
3 – Setting! The story is told during the World War II.We get to see the “old” London and the world during a quiet dark time. The existence of a scary haunted house in the middle of nowhere definitely spiced things up. Described in a beautiful way, you don’t just read the book – you live within it as long as your eyes remain on the pages.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
1 – Here comes the disturbing part of the book, namely animal cruelty and just cruelty in general. I know it’s a book, but the images are so vivid in my head that I might actually get nightmares. Thus I’m not sure if this is a positive thing for the book – to create this world that practically lives off the pages, or if it’s a negative aspect. I am dubious here and will leave this in “disliked” section for now, until I come to my senses and give this book some more of so desired love.
Thank you NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for providing me a copy of this ARC. As always I stay true to myself and let out all the horrible (or amazing) truth on the pages of this blog.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5
Let me know in the comments down below (A) what is your most anticipated release of April and (B) how you deal with horror / scary thriller books and the feeling they leave behind?