I saw the cover of this one on twitter wayyyy back near the beginning of the year and got myself super excited to read it (and then it came out earlier than I anticipated, lol… so it goes). Look at that cover tho. Can you blame me for requesting this book like seven months before it came out? 😀
Thanks to the author, as well as St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for the review copy!
Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.
By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.
This is the story of Jane Shoringfield, who is an accountant who lives in an alternate-universe post-war England. She was orphaned at a young age, and the people who took care of her are moving into the capital city, and so Jane looks into a marriage of convenience in order to stay independent. She proposes to Dr. Augustine Lawrence, who agrees to marry her as long as she never spends the night in Lindridge Hall, his family’s manor. She agrees and they’re married, but a carriage accident on the wedding night leaves her stranded at Lindridge Hall, and that’s when the shenanigans start.
This was an eerie, well written and well paced novel. I found myself staying up late just to get more and more of it in my head, as what was happening was so intriguing. That said, I also spooked myself a couple times by staying up late with it, lol.
Jane was a great character, and I liked the relationship between her and Augustine a lot. Jane thought that this was just going to be a business arrangement but it turns into more than that as the book goes on, and then when what happens at the house starts happening, Jane realizes that that Augustine might not be the innocent guy he seems.
The last third of this book was a rollercoaster. I loved it. I can’t wait to read more of Caitlin Starling’s work because this one was fantastic! 4.5./5 stars!