Laura Benedict refreshes the typical Gothic story with this novel. Set in present day Virginia, a recently widowed mother and disfigured daughter move in to the ancestral home. The house is nestled in an uncomfortable middle ground between Southern sensibilities and a modern life. The peace that the two seek is denied when the daughter Ariel witnesses an unexpected death, and possibly even more.
It took every ounce of self-control he could muster to keep from going closer to see the girl. He tried to picture what she might look like as a whole person. What he’d seen of her was grim enough. Karin’s confusion about holm schooling was now sadly answered.
“Don’t hesitate,” he said. “Please.”
Rainey didn’t respond, but gathered the girl closer to her. Gerard turned to go, regretting the heavy treat of his books as he returned to the suite to get his papers. As he made his way down the main stairway, he was conscious of being watched, but Rainey and her daughter were nowhere to be seen. If he’d been a less practical and sensible sort of man, he might have convinced himself that the stars painted around the ceiling’s oculus had arranged themselves into curious eyes that watched to make sure he was leaving. ~Pg. 38
The reader can feel the need to tiptoe around the literal and figurative eggshells strewn about the floors of Bliss House. This is a wonderfully unsettling novel from a veteran author, best enjoyed with a mint julep.
Many thanks to Jessica at Pegasus for the review copy.
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Pegasus (June 15, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.6 x 0.2 inches