Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
The Short Take:
This masterful novel is part mystery, part ghost story, part character study, and completely excellent. With stunningly beautiful prose and a page-turning plot, it’s a win for readers of all stripes.
One of the best books I have read in a long time, this satisfying novel is also unsettling and laced with pain. Suicide and murder, orphans and lost souls, faith and faithlessness, failing farms and wealthy newcomers give rise to a melange of yearning, disappointment, and hope.
Even secondary characters are well-drawn and believable. The primary ones are truly exceptional– including one of the coldest players to ever crawl out of a writer’s imagination. The art inspired by the Hudson River Valley setting and the influential spiritual beliefs of Emanuel Swedenborg add depth to the narrative, reinforcing the pressures and power of the plot.
It’s a fantastic book.
A Little Plot:
Art history teacher George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and young daughter alone in a house that has already seen great tragedy. From this point the story moves back to explore the Hale family, who lived there before George and Catherine, and the year preceding Catherine’s murder.
For more about Elizabeth Brundage and her work, click here.