Author: Danielle Trussoni
Published: April 7, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
It feels like a fairy tale when Alberta ”Bert” Monte receives a letter addressed to “Countess Alberta Montebianco” at her Hudson Valley, New York, home that claims she’s inherited a noble title, money, and a castle in Italy. While Bert is more than a little skeptical, the mystery of her aristocratic family’s past, and the chance to escape her stressful life for a luxury holiday in Italy, is too good to pass up.
At first, her inheritance seems like a dream come true: a champagne-drenched trip on a private jet to Turin, Italy; lawyers with lists of artwork and jewels bequeathed to Bert; a helicopter ride to an ancestral castle nestled in the Italian Alps below Mont Blanc; a portrait gallery of ancestors Bert never knew existed; and a cellar of expensive vintage wine for Bert to drink.
But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes.
This one was … odd. At first, I considered giving it 3 stars, but then I gave it 4; if nothing else, it kept my attention! I got this book for Christmas and I was so excited because it had everything I love! Italy, ancient families, an old castle in the mountains, family secrets … a gothic tale that I hoped would be filled with spirits, mystery, haunting a, murder, intrigue, fabulous style and architecture! And to be fair, it had almost all of that. But dang if I ended in a way different place that I ever expected to be!
I can’t say much about it because I don’t want to give anything away, but holy crap on a cracker. By the time I was finished reading, I was just shaking my head trying to make sense of what the fudge I just read! I mean, I’m still speechless. I’m actually sending my copy to a friend so she can read it and tell me what’s happening! It’s intriguing, it’s confusing, it’s fascinating, it’s frustrating, and I guess I can’t fault a book for being all those things! Just read it, you’ll see what I mean.
Daughters of the Lake
Author: Wendy Webb
Published: November 1, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…
One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.
As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.
Ooh starting the year off right! This is my 2nd book of 2021 and I loved it! And that cover; take a second and revel in it.
I half guessed the mystery before it was all revealed so bonus, my smartness is intact. This story was great with lovable characters and a perfect setting. Wharton reminded me of those little New England towns and now I want to go visit. I do have a gay cousin but he’s way older than me and I haven’t talked to him in years; maybe I should call him. Kate was such a good protagonist and for someone who is inclined to dislike female characters, I actually liked her from the start. Her relationship with her cousin was so much fun! When they decided to research their family’s home while making it a bed and breakfast, I wanted to join them.
Addie’s story and the multiple timelines were engaging and not confusing in the least. Once I learned everyone’s names, I was good to go and I greatly enjoyed the history and mystery. This is a great book for those who like historical fiction or the paranormal. I felt fulfilled and satisfied with the ending and I would absolutely recommend this book!
The Woman in the Mirror
Author: Rebecca James
Published: March 17, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.
In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.
In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.
This was my pick for my neighborhood book club. I was pretty pleased with it. But this is one of those books that I enjoyed, but then dislike it the more I think about it. I got very engaged in the story and it had some creepy elements and I got through it quickly and easily. It kept me guessing and I’ll admit that I didn’t see the end coming. But the characters weakened as the story progressed.
Watching Alice throw herself at the Captain is cringey and caused me to like her less. Rachel is just an idiot. Typical girl who can’t decide what she wants and she strings two men along even though the choice is pretty obvious to the rest of us but you’re too dumb to see it and then complain when the guys act like you tell them to. The twins are just nasty children. I also wish more info was given on the original woman and her story had been more thoroughly wrapped up.
Thankfully, the horror factor saved this book for me. That mirror … I want that mirror in my house! There were a couple places where the goosebumps were raised and I had to pause my reading to chill out some. I feel bad because I liked it while I was reading, but while considering it later, it just misses the mark. I am glad I read it and I am liking that it’s sticking in my head like it is … it just has some flaws.[Top]