by Susanna Kearsley
Release date: August 7th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark in order to read and give an honest review.
“…a slow unravelling, yet compelling story with unique, strong and resilient characters that truly make this a pleasure to read. “
Although not new to Susanna Kearsley’s work it has been a while since I’ve read her and I have to ask myself what was I waiting for. Ms Kearsley is a master at weaving intricate, emotional and character-driven historical dramas that span centuries. She weaves a delicate tapestry rich with historical details that don’t feel like an info dump but is so carefully blended as to drive the story along.
In Bellewether, we meet Charley a historian from Canada who returns to her ancestral home to care for her 19-year-old niece after the sudden death of her brother. She accepts a job as a curator of the Wilde House which is currently going through the restoration process. During the story, we are also introduced to two characters from the 1750’s on opposing sides of the seven-year war. Jean Phillipe a captured soldier being held as a prisoner of war with his colleague at the Wilde family home and the daughter of the home Lydia who tragically loses her fiancé during the war are forced to live under the same roof. Lydia is at first disgusted that she must live under the same roof but with time they become less enemies and more just human beings trying to live. The author also gives us insight into the main issues of the time time, such as slavery, treatment of the Acadians and the general climate of the war are all used to build and shape a vivid description of life during the war.
Charley is also facing a war during her time. An unhealthy relationship on the rocks, strained familial ties, battling bitter board members and mysterious events that make her wonder if she is losing her mind. She also tries to get to the bottom of a tragic legend that surrounds the old Wilde House and the phantoms therein.
Ms Kearsley gives us such a strong atmosphere, a touch of romance and a mystery that keeps the reader intrigued. Although this story isn’t a fast-paced thriller it’s a slow unravelling yet compelling story with unique, strong and resilient characters that truly make this a pleasure to read. I would definitely recommend it and will be keeping Ms Kearsley’s books on my reading list!