Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from the gothic house in which she and her estranged twin sister El grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. But when El mysteriously disappears, Cat returns to the home - and a past - that is full of ghosts and secrets, including Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns.
I didn’t know what to make of this when I first started reading. It was clear that the writing was very good, but I couldn’t figure out if it involved magical realism or a main character that was almost completely untethered from reality or something else that I wasn’t getting. I even got frustrated, to be honest, trying to figure out what was going on.
Then it all came together. That veil lifted, and I was blown away. The center of this book -- the heart of it -- is pure genius. And I don’t say that lightly.
What might seem blurry, at the start, will come into focus, and it is SO worth it once it does.
This book had me feeling deeply for the main characters, and I found myself going back to reread portions once I’d finished and even studied the dang map of the house at the front of the book.
This is a top read of the year for me. I’ll admit, there were some things I wish were a bit different with it. I would have preferred if the story ended earlier, about 85% of the way through, according to my Kindle. It would have been a bit more believable for me, and much darker, which is the way my taste tends to go. But one’s enjoyment of a novel is entirely subjective, and the twists and turns in the last part of the book will probably make many other thriller fans incredibly happy.
But SO much was done beautifully here. The timing. The pacing. The reveals. The characters. The layers. The DEPTH.
This is a stand out among psychological thrillers in terms of uniqueness and boldness and imaginativeness and creativity, and it will stick with me for a very long time to come.
If you like mysteries and thrillers - and especially psychological thrillers, you MUST read this.
This comes out April 20!
Thank you Scribner for the ARC!