Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Darkmere by Helen Maslin

There was a girl in the water.
The waves were many times bigger than she was and infinitely stronger, but she fought her way through each one. She kicked and clawed and lunged even though the coldness lent every wave the impact of a hammer blow.

Published by Chicken House in August 2015

Pages - 368

Summary
A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer.
Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together - but instead, she's drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house. And whose curse now hangs over them all. 
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This is one of those novels that sucks you in and holds you tightly until the very last chapter, while scaring the pants off you at the same time.  Told from two perspectives we jump back and forth between the present day and past to tell the story of Darkmere castle and the curse that seems to have befallen the inheritants of the property. Elinor and Kate's stories intertwine with eerily familiar occurrences happening to both characters. 
I genuinely thought this book was going to be just a love story, but it is so much more than that. It has a real darkness to it that has your goosebumps on red alert. 
I also didn't realise this book had a historical point of view within the story until I came upon it. I knew Elinor was mentioned in the blurb, but I wasn't expecting to hear her side of the story. On reflection, I am so pleased Elinor's story was part of the book, as it really added a richness to the story. Elinor's story reminded me of Wuthering Heights. St Cloud could definitely give Heathcliff a run for his money, when it comes to being nasty. 
The author has really captured the gothic feel of a castle. The descriptions made it easy to imagine and they created a chilling atmosphere. I'm not sure I would want to stay in Darkmere for the summer holidays!
I loved Elinor! Even though I hated the way she was forced to marry. Her story really is a sad tale to tell. I wanted her to fight back but she didn't, which made me hate the other characters around her so much. I really loved the relationship between Kate and Jackson too. 
The climatic scenes in the book are probably better read during daylight, as we learn what really happened to Elinor.
 A fantastically scary, Gothic novel. I really hope Helen Maslin writes more books similar in style as she has really captured the essence of a good Gothic horror reminding me of the fabulous books by Shirley Jackson.

1 comment:

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