Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: The Wildling Sisters

The Wildling SistersAuthor: Eve Chase
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

An evocative novel in the vein of Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier, in which the thrill of first love clashes with the bonds of sisterhood, and all will be tested by the dark secret at the heart of Applecote Manor.

Four sisters. One summer. A lifetime of secrets.

When fifteen-year-old Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote Manor in June 1959, they expect a quiet English country summer. Instead, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before. As the sisters become divided by new tensions when two handsome neighbors drop by, Margot finds herself drawn into the life Audrey left behind. When the summer takes a deadly turn, the girls must unite behind an unthinkable choice or find themselves torn apart forever.

Fifty years later, Jesse is desperate to move her family out of their London home, where signs of her widower husband's previous wife are around every corner. Gorgeous Applecote Manor, nestled in the English countryside, seems the perfect solution. But Jesse finds herself increasingly isolated in their new sprawling home, at odds with her fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, and haunted by the strange rumors that surround the manor.

Rich with the heat and angst of love both young and old, The Wildling Sisters is a gorgeous and breathtaking journey into the bonds that unite a family and the darkest secrets of the human heart.

“Houses are never just houses; I’m quite sure of this now. We leave particles behind, dust and dreams, fingerprints on buried wallpapers, our tread in the wear of the stairs. And we take bits of the houses with us. In my case, a love of the smell of wax polish on sun-warmed oak, late summer sunlight filtering through stained glass. We grow up. We stay the same. We move away, but we live forever where we were most alive.”

…our aunt and uncle step around each other like awkwardly placed furniture or guests at a party with a long-running feud… All our lives we’ve been brought up to want what Sybil has: a marriage to a firstborn son, a big house, a loyal maid, the clawed silver sugar tongs, a gold carriage clock ticking down to the next wedding anniversary. And yet Sybil grinds pepper over her boiled egg in the morning as if she’d like to wring the neck of the chicken who laid it.

There’s a thrill that comes with being awake when everyone else is lost in sleep. I don’t feel rushed. Or watched. Time even passes differently, molding itself around me like a kid glove on warm skin.

A page turner of a story set around a slightly dilapidated manor that holds secrets, sinister acts, and second chances. The story goes back and forth between the 1950’s and present day. Readers follow the stories of the past family and all of the tragedy sustained while they lived in the house as well as the present day family who has recently moved to the country to escape the their past lives. The house is full of intrigue right from the beginning. Each chapter feels more and more eerie and the house seems to take on the persona of an actual character in the story. The story that follows the original family who lived in Applecote Manor surrounds the disappearance of their young daughter, Audrey. While the story of the present day family revolves around Jessie, the new wife of Will and stepmom of Bella, a girl who refuses to forget her deceased mother or allow Jessie to take her place. Bella quickly tells her stepmother that she feels uneasy in the home like it holds trapped spirits. I was hooked from there!

The writing was descriptive and completely mesmerizing. I must say that I loved the story that took place in the 1950’s way more than I liked the present day one. I was so intrigued by the lives of the Wilde sisters and their missing cousin Audrey. I loved the comparisons of the manor – I got to experience the manor when it was in its prime with manicured lawns and beautiful entryways and then again in a more antique form when repairs and tender love and care was needed. I loved the descriptions of the manor. As I said before, the manor feels like another character in the novel – absolutely enchanting. I also loved the detail paid to the sisterhood and relationships between many of the characters. This book would be a perfect read for Halloween/Fall time!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in exchange in for my honest review***

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