I’m going to be honest, I loved this book. It’s old-school gothic meets a touch (but not too much) of the supernatural: an easy-reading, commercial version of The Haunting of Hill House, mixed with The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, with just a touch of Jane Eyre.
The story vacillates between two women who live seventy years apart:
One is a young lady with a dark secret who is employed as a governess at Winterbourne Hall, a large mansion that sits on a bluff in the English countryside, just a few years after WWII. She falls in love with Captain Jonathan de Grey, the children’s father, who lost his wife under tragic circumstances.
The other is a present-day gallery curator from New York who discovers that she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. She travels to the old, neglected mansion in an attempt to learn more about her parents and lineage, which has been kept a secret from her since she was adopted as a baby.
Both of these women experience a feeling within Winterbourne — a sense that the house has a will of its own. That those who live there - in both the past and present - may be vulnerable to its own dark whims.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Every moment of it. And the end was FANTASTIC.
If you love gothic thrillers (like me!) or anything supernatural, you MUST pick this one up.
An enormous thank you to Rebecca James for writing it, Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s for publishing it and Netgalley for getting me the ARC!