Author: C.J. Cooke
Published: September 29, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.
Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.
Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…
Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.
What a strange book. At its core, it’s a murder mystery. But there’s a lot of weird, Norwegian type horror elements that were just … weird. Then throw in some environmentalism that actually makes everything worse. I know it sounds awful, but I feel like I don’t even remember most of the story. The murder mystery was solid and I like that part of it. But the rest of it feels so muddled. Maybe if I knew more about Norwegian mythology, it would have been better. But unfortunately it just fell flat for me.
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!