Author: Rebecca James
Published by: Minotaur Books on Mar. 17, 2020
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Minotaur Books
Book Rating: 8/10
Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.
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.
Intense, sinister, and mystical!
In this debut novel by James, The Woman in the Mirror, she transports us to the rugged cliffside of Cornwall, England during 1947, as well as present-day, and into a family manor where powerful emotions swirl, tragic memories reside, and long-buried skeletons and secrets are in abundance.
The prose is ominous and dark. The characters are complex, lonely, and troubled, with the setting, Winterborne Hall, being a character itself with its dereliction and isolation. And the plot told from alternating timelines is a gripping, suspenseful tale full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, death, revenge, cruelty, desperation, and violence, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.
Overall, The Woman in the Mirror is a gothic, atmospheric, eerie tale that captivates from the very first page and ultimately leaves you chilled, mystified, and entertained.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.