Cordelia works in real estate and lives the perfect life in her beautiful home in an upscale Dallas suburb. Then, sadly for her, but a marvelous break for the readers, every possible aspect of her world falls apart. We’re talking the big things: her marriage is over, she’s beyond broke, she is going to lose her home, and the mob is out to get her. You may think that last item was just me being whimsical. Nope, I’m serious!
In the middle of all this turmoil, Cordelia gets a call from her sister, Eustace. The sisters couldn’t be any more opposite — Eustace grows and sells cannabis in Colorado. The sisters don’t have a close relationship and haven’t spoken in a long time. But, Eustace has news. An aunt they’d never met has died and left them a house. Cordelia sees this as the answer to her problems. She’s eager to go see the house, sell it as fast as possible, and use the money to repair her life.
But there’s a catch (because of course there’s a catch!) The will states that both sisters must live in the house to inherit the family fortune. Cecelia is determined to sell the place anyway, so off she goes to Connecticut, where she will reunite with her sister. Her plan is to take care of business and head back to Dallas.
Now, if everything had gone the way Cordelia planned, we wouldn’t have much of a story. Thankfully for us, her ancestors, the house, and even her own latent powers she doesn’t fully understand all have their own agendas. And there are secrets. So many secrets that need to be revealed.
This isn’t a horror novel (though a few scenes are horrific). I see it through more than one lens. It’s a love story, a coming-home story, a family ties story, and a wickedly moody gothic tale. As Cordelia and Eustace explore the house and the land surrounding it, they learn about their ancestors and how they are tied to them. They get to know the house as it reveals their family history, sometimes freely and sometimes reluctantly. Even the caretaker who lives on the property, and the local townsfolk have secrets. The sisters are keeping secrets from each other as well – and then there’s that big secret that has haunted them both for so long – what really happened to their mother?
If dark and stormy nights, eccentric Victorian mansions, atmospheric landscapes, chilling family crypts, strong magic, handsome yet brooding groundskeepers, and witchy family legacies appeal to you, this is your next read. Brew a cup of tea, sink into a comfy chair and turn your phone off. You are encouraged to read this story well into the night.
I would certainly enjoy a sequel, as I’m curious about how Cordelia and Eustace settle into their new home, new talents, new relationships, and new outlooks on life.
My thanks to author Ava Morgyn, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion. Pre-order the book at Amazon.
Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields in Michigan, where she grows herbs and vegetables when she’s not playing games with a cat named Chives. She’s fond of crafting, reading in the dark, literary worldbuilding, and pulling up dandelions. Visit Lori at brassbrightcity.com and ceejaywriter.com.