In 1908, Thea arrives to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in hopes of uncovering why her mother left her at an orphanage when she was young. She discovers a secretive asylum tucked into the woods and is able to gain entrance with groundskeeper Simeon and her postmortem photography skills. But as she unearths ghosts and the tale of Misty Wayfair, Thea learns that there may be more than meets the eye. More than a century later, Heidi also travels to Pleasant Valley after she receives a plea from her mother fighting dementia. Heidi also exposes family secrets of ghosts and soon she finds herself on a journey involving Misty Wayfair and events that cause her to fear her own life.
What an exciting book! The opening line, “melancholy was a condition of the spirit and soul, but also of the mind,” draws you in with its eerie mystery immediately and the grip of the words does not let up until the last page. This book has ghost like suspense that left me with heart pounding and eyes scanning to find solutions to the supernatural. I love Jaime Jo Wright’s writing as it is packed with details that allow me to really envision each scene and imagine the thrilling events. She has such a unique gift! The characters are rich in depth with imperfections and struggles that are realistic and relatable. Jaime Jo tackles difficult social topics in this book, including but certainly not limited to, autism and its effects on loved ones, depression and anxiety and its misconceptions, childhood trauma and its psychological aftereffects, and the treatment of the mentally ill in the early 20thcentury. What a phenomenal read! I could hardly put the book down and stayed up much too late on several evenings to finish it (really, my only complaint here is the lack of sleep I had while reading, ha!). The central theme of identity is clearly woven so uniquely throughout and ultimately draws on the Christian principle of identity in Christ. I did not used to like split time novels, but Jaime Jo has a special gift to craft books that weave together a story that comes together into a well-structured and satisfying ending, and has definitely made me a fan of these books. I truly loved this book and cannot wait to see what she pens next! Most highly recommended!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Jaime Jo Wright in exchange for an honest review. 5/5
Annalise Forsythe has painful secrets, just like everyone else does in Gossamer Grove. But when mysterious events and dangerous things begin to happen, she begins the brutal task of unburying secrets, which only serves to uncover more suspicious pasts in Gossamer Grove. She is not pleased when an old flame arrives in town during this vulnerable point of her life. As she begins to let God help her forgive and start fresh, she learns that the past can actually help her heal her future. Her search for answers digs up the unusual story of Libby Sheffield, a young lady at the turn of the century working at her father’s newspaper company during a spiritual revival in the town. Libby is facing her own demons from her past. These two ladies, though separated by time, have similar goals to heal and move on.
I very much enjoyed the first novel by Jaime Jo Wright and was looking forward to her next book. I did not typically like split-time plots, but now this author has turned me around to them by crafting stories that connect is such unique and interesting ways. I very much liked both of the main protagonists in this book and found the overarching theme of forgiveness and moving on from painful pasts something that any reader can relate to. The plots are interesting with the twists and turns and I did not anticipate the villains. My favorite part is seeing how all the details fit together at the end. I very much recommend this book!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Two years after her husband dies, Kaine Prescott decides to move across the country, impulsively buying an old abandoned home in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. Convinced that her husband was murdered and his murderer is stalking her, but unable to prove it, she attempts to move on and start over. Only the strange events that were taking place in California to her begin to occur in Wisconsin, increasing Kaine’s suspicions. Meanwhile, a century earlier, Ivy Thorpe helps her father identify a dead woman found in a tree near the old house on Foster Hill. As she untangles the mystery, odd discoveries cause her to question the strange happenings at the old house. Danger mounts for both Ivy and Kaine as their investigations lead to more similarities that crosses decades and ties together at an old house.
This story is a perfect blend of mystery and suspense! I liked how the two story lines were separated by time but connected in a very unique way and I did not find them to be confusing at all. This author may be fairly new, but her writing style, creative plot, and suspenseful story craft a novel that speaks of an experienced writer. I had a hard time putting the book down! I really enjoyed the tasteful romance and sprinkles of history as well. There is definitely enough spooky suspense enough to keep you up at night. I highly recommend this novel and look forward to more from this author!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.