The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Graydon House
Please note: A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for my participation in the TLC book tour.
Lydia and her family have moved from their home in Boston to what was meant to be their summer home some miles away in a tiny town called New Oldsbury. They left the city on the heels of scandal, hoping that their leaving would dull the gossip. Upon their arrival, a dark and foreboding home awaits them, even if it is handsomely adorned. There’s just… something about Willow Hall.
Soon Lydia and her sisters Catherine and Emeline meet a Mr. John Barrett. He’s a handsome gentleman who catches Lydia’s eye. In her mind, however, she thinks that she doesn’t stand a chance against her beautiful sister Catherine. As it would happen, Mr. Barrett turns out to be their father’s new business partner and becomes a regular part of their new lives. No only so, but his home is on the adjoining property.
Willow Hall and the grounds around it are steeped in mystery. Lydia’s younger sister is taken with the pond in the woods and speaks of a little boy that she sees there. Lydia herself hears screams in the night and sees a woman in white. Catherine is skeptical and scheming, trying to seduce and secure a husband, even if it’s at the expense of Lydia’s feelings.
Something truly awful happens, and Lydia has to come to grips with who she really is, what she wants, and how she can save her family.
The Witch of Willow Hall is gripping, eerie, lyrical, and atmospheric. I loved Lydia’s character and the way the story is told so quietly and with a slow burn. It makes it all the more gothic and chilling. This story is character driven, and even Willow Hall is itself a character. This gothic tale is the perfect October read. It puts you in the mood for a drink of something hot and a cozy sweater.
Before I picked this one up, I was in a reading slump. I had a lot on my plate (still do), including a depressive episode. Somehow, this book managed to pull me out a little–enough to fly through it when I finally picked it up. Even if I couldn’t get myself out of bed, I could curl up with my favourite blankets and a cup of tea, and escape to Willow Hall.
If you enjoy a character driven gothic tale that’s more eerie than scary, this just might be the perfect fall read for you.