Synopsis: Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.
Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…
1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.
But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.
Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?
Review: I listened to The Witch Of Willow Hall instead of reading it. This is my first audiobook so bear with me as I try to review it.
I think that listening to the book took me longer to finish the book than reading it, but I loved the atmosphere it created. Especially if you listening to it at night, I guarantee it will give you chills.
The story is set in the nineteenth century and Lydia Montrose is our protagonist. The prologue starts off with Lydia unintentionally harming a local bully after seeing her cat dead. Lydia is distraught because she doesn’t yet know she is a witch and the extent of her powers. Lydia’s incident was forgotten but another scandal forced the Montrose family to flee Boston for their new home Willow Hall in New Oldbury.
However, Willow Hall is not what it seems. Lydia senses more than one ghostly presence in the country home. Soon, Lydia meets John Barrett, her father’s business partner. John can be compared to the stoic Mr. Darcy or Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and has secrets of his own.
Besides Lydia and John, there’s Lydia’s cunning sister Catherine, Lydia’s mother, Lydia’s sister Emmeline and Lydia’s mostly absent father. We also meet Mr. Pierce, who accompanies Mr. Barrett for a dinner hosted by the Montrose family. Things don’t stay mundane for long. During a ballroom party, Lydia’s little sister, Emmeline is nowhere to be found. After searching for a while, the unthinkable happens, Emmeline is found dead and this is where the twists keep coming. It seems that in Willow Hall, the dead don’t stay “dead”.
I liked Lydia’s character. What I didn’t like was how quickly she started mooning over John Barrett. Catherine was the perfect villain; exactly the kind of sister I would wish nobody to have. For no reason at all, she verbally abuses Lydia. However, in the end, Lydia stands up for herself and the transformation of her character was beautiful to watch.
This is the perfect debut novel for author Hester Fox and is a standalone. I would recommend that you read it this month and listen to the audiobook. The narrator was Lauren Ezzo and she did a splendid job with her narration of this paranormal tale.
Verdict: The Witch Of Willow Hall gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Author: Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.
Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband. THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL is her first novel.
- Publisher: Harlequin Audio
- Publication Date: 2nd October 2018
- Audiobook: 35 chapters
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