Those ten minutes must be really disruptive for Bristol.
Two generations of women, and one house that holds the terrible secrets
of their pasts
1922. Grace has been sent to the stately and crumbling Fenix House to
follow in her grandmother's footsteps as a governess. But when she meets
the house's inhabitants, people who she had only previously heard of in
stories, the cracks in her grandmother's tale begin to show. Secrets
appear to live in the house's very walls and everybody is resolutely
protecting their own.
Why has she been sent here? Why did her grandmother leave after just
one summer? And as the past collides with the present, can Grace unravel
these secrets and discover who her grandmother, and who she, really is?
This book begins with a strong start, but the plot is a bit of a mess and full coincidences. It's oddly reliant on Glimmers (seeing images of the "future"and just straight up lies. Who builds a plan for a grandchild on a image they had in their head before their actual child was born?
The characters are a bit meh. They are actually decent by themselves, but their relationships really take away from them as characters. I liked Harriet, but as grandmother she is terrible and it is a shame she lives in a age before there were decent therapists.
There is a plot point at the end of the book, that I just don't get. I think it was a weird addition to the story. Where other things are set up and we never get anything from it.
I did like the switch between the present and the past, switching between the POV of Grace and Harriet. Also that we start and end in the middle of those times. Riodan has done a good job of making both narrators compelling and I remained keen to know both of their stories.
Overall, I give this 3/5 stars for incest hints. There are lot of elements in this books that just don't merge right for me, mainly the glimmers. The rest of the novel is done well and captures the time period realistically.
I got this book for review off NetGalley and it was published by Penguin on 25 February 2016.
(My review of this review I shouldn't use the word "bit" as much).