by Emily Arsenault
Publisher: William Morrow
Buy the Book: Amazon
1885: Frances Barnett is in the Northampton Lunatic Hospital, telling her story to a visitor. She has come to distrust her own memories, and believes that her pregnancy, birth, and early days of motherhood may have impaired her sanity.
During the earliest months of her baby’s life, Frances eagerly followed the famous murder trial of Mary Stannard—that captivated New Englanders with its salacious details and expert forensic testimony. Following—and even attending—this trial, Frances found an escape from the monotony of new motherhood. But as her story unfolds, Frances must admit that her obsession with the details of the murder were not entirely innocent.
Present day: Abby has been adjusting to motherhood smoothly—until recently, when odd sensations and dreams have begun to unsettle her while home alone with her baby. When she starts to question the house’s history, she is given the diary of Frances Barnett, who lived in the house 125 years earlier. Abby finds the diary disturbing, and researches the Barnett family’s history. The more Abby learns, the more she wonders about a negative—possibly supernatural—influence in her house. She becomes convinced that when she sleeps, she leaves her daughter vulnerable—and then vows not to sleep until she can determine the cause of her eerie experiences.
Frances Barnett might not be the only new mother to lose her mind in this house. And like Frances, Abby discovers that by trying to uncover another’s secrets, she risks awakening some of her own.
Kritters Thoughts: Two mothers who are linked through a home, but are set apart far in time, both narrate in this book and tell a creepy story about how maybe history can stay in a home.
A tangent - my home is older and I live near Mount Vernon. I am the second owner and the home was built in the 1950s. My home has raised three boys and housed a veteran and sat empty for two years, so I wonder what memories are in the walls of the home. My property is one of George Washington's original farms, he had five! So I wonder often about not only what happened in the home that I live in, but also on my property.
At first this book wasn't working for me, I can't pinpoint it exactly, but neither storyline was really pulling me in. In some dual narrative books, one or the other storyline hooks me from the beginning and I grow to love the other while reading.
This is my first Emily Arsenault and will definitely not be my last. I may have to read her next one with all the lights on because this definitely made me cringe, but I guess thats a good thing!
I heard rumor that this book was true, has anyone else heard this rumor? Can anyone confirm? If so, that would make this book jump up quite a few notches in my opinion!
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.