They wanted her land. She didn’t want to give it. He made her fall in love with him. And then he labeled her a witch. She can hear the horses coming. She knows he has betrayed her. But if she is to die, it will be on her own terms and heaven help Ivan de Grey’s family and the cursed land where he will build his enormous Gothic home, Winterbourne Hall. On the bluff overlooking the sea, where once a woman had lived, loved and died.
And so it stood in Cornwall in isolation, looking gloomy and slightly scary.
In 1947, Alice Miller is living in London but can’t wait to get away. Memories of horrible things haunt her. When she sees the advert about a governess position at Winterbourne, she jumps at the chance. Her job will be to care for Captain Jonothan de Grey’s children. Twins, a boy and a girl, 8 years old and motherless.
Alice falls in love with the children as well as their father. The children seem to adore her but when they start behaving alarmingly like little demons and turn on her she is suspicious. The house seems to be cursed. When her one night with her boss leaves her pregnant and half-crazed, Jonothan tells her they are going to Paris. He drops her off with the nuns and hopes she will be safe there.
In the present day, Rachel Wright, just opening her gallery has also just received a letter for solicitors that her Aunt Constance has died and left Winterbourne and everything to her, her niece. Rachel is stunned. She was adopted as an infant and has been searching for her mother for a long time. She sees this as a chance to find out what happened to her mother and who was her father?
The answers she finds are alarming and sad. The house itself is dark and foreboding and you just know there is a dead body or two waiting to be found!
There are multiple timelines here. And we hear Alice’s and Rachel’s and someone or something else. Something malicious that wants them all to die.
Rachel gets answers and decides to stay in Winterbourne. After all, they have destroyed the mirror and the house does seem lighter, but you can bet this isn’t the end!
The timelines were a bit much but looking back, it was the only way the story could be told. And Oh what a story it is!
A good old fashioned ghost story! Witches, Curses, Women driven mad, Scary Children, I would say this one had it all!
NetGalley/March 17th, 2020 by Minotaur Books
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