Book blogger, audiobook lover and shamelessly honest reviewer. Mostly read fantasy, mystery, romance, UF and YA but all genres welcome.
First of all, if you haven’t read Jane Eyre and intend to read it, please don’t read this book first. It gives Jane Eyre’s plot away.
Jane Eyre is mentioned in this book often and it’s clear to me that Ms. Setterfield attempted to create a similar atmosphere with her prose and gothic undertones. There are dilapidated houses, ghostly apparitions, visions that characters see from the corner of their eyes, nightly strolls in gardens, misty forests, etc. There IS a mystery and it’s extremely well done (and I’m proud to say I figured it out way before the main character) although I have to say that some parts of the books dragged so much for me that I was THISCLOSE of giving up on it. I’m glad I didn’t.
As Ms. Winter said, this book has 3 parts: the beginning, the middle and the end. :) The beginning was good but the middle was excruciatingly slow. The characters at this stage were very unappealing – they ran the gamut from selfish and wacky to outright criminal – and they behaved so weirdly that I wondered if there was one decent human being in the lot. Most of the strange behavior, though, is explained in the end which was brilliantly put together.
If you want to solve the mystery, I’ll give you the 3 clues that helped me: Jane Eyre and two phrases that were mentioned over and over – “Tell me the truth” and “Do you believe in ghosts?” I won’t tell you how they helped me figure it out because I don’t want to give spoilers but like in every mystery, try not to be distracted by the smokescreens, red herrings, sleights of hand, etc. and think of Ockham's Razor: "The simplest explanation is usually the most likely." :)