Wendy Webb. The book is a ghost story/murder mystery.
Grace Alban has been running from her childhood home for 20 years, but now fate is literally pulling her back. The Alban name and their stately home on Lake Superior holds a lot of weight with the local townspeople. The death of her mother, Adele, forces Grace to face her past. With her teenage daughter, Amity, in tow, Grace heads back to the stately and creepy Alban House. And.......Adele's death occurred under some rather mysterious circumstances. One moment Adele is nowhere to be found, and then her body magically appears on the grounds. That freaked me out. I kept waiting for a monster or some big animal to jump out.
When Grace and Amity return to Alban house, the creep factor goes up another notch. Rooms broken into, papers strewn about, and secret passageways in Alban House that are no longer secret. On the day of her death, Adele was about to spill the beans on some Alban family secrets. Could someone be sending the family a message? It's hard to believe there is some sinister being behind all of this. Author Wendy Webb paints such a vivid picture of Alban house, it's hard to believe there isn't something supernatural behind everything. It's like the house had eyes. Nothing is sacred in that house. None of the characters know what they can't or can't do in the home. It's not safe to be alone there. Slowly, Grace becomes afraid of her childhood home.
The book seems to veer off track when it goes away from Alban house. There is a little romance mixed in here. I don't think it was really necessary. How many people find romance when they return home for a funeral? It seemed a little implausible to me. Grace finds solace in the local minister. In times of grief, I understand turning to your faith. But I found it unnecessary for Grace to fall in love. Not every book has to have to romance.
I don't normally read books like this. I like my books to be based in reality. I'm always afraid that books like this will take too long to explain the mythology behind it. The pacing in this book is pretty good, but I felt the conclusion was a little rushed. I also had trouble following mythology behind the Alban family. I was constantly re-reading some passages. Also, for the most part I liked Grace's character but all too often she is throwing her weight around. What do I mean by that? Author Wendy Webb is constantly reminding her readers that the Albans are almost god-like in this town. The Albans have thrown money behind just about every institution and politician in town. Grace can command attention just because of her last name. That type of repetition was just too heavy-handed for my tastes.
Wendy Webb does a great job of setting the atmosphere and describing the Alban home, but at times I found the book to be a little confusing. If you've read the book, what do you think??
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Hyperion) in exchange for an honest review.