This book review was written by Eugene Kernes
“On our return journey, I endure wordless hours. Never in my life have I felt such deep bitterness toward another person. Never have I been so misunderstood, ill-used, and mistrusted as I have been by the one person I’m trying to help. There are no niceties capable of mending the yawning chasm separating Mattie and me. What ought to be done eludes me. All I do comprehend is my recoiling anger, simmering undiminished, in the wake of this betrayal.” – Lindsey Lamh, Chapter 7, Page 65
“”That’s your scheme, is it?” I say, crouching like a frightened rabbit, ready to spring. “I don’t doubt you’ve tempted countless people with such an invitation. But I’ve guessed your game, and I know what you are, demon! I know your secrets, even if Mattie doesn’t. Illusions of happiness don’t reach the soul. She’ll still suffer, no matter how many diversions occupy her mind. But I won’t give in. I’m going to destroy you and save my sister!”” – Lindsey Lamh, Chapter 15, Page 128
“”You think the pain is too great. That it’ll eclipse you. But it actually has the power to transform you. Grief breaks you down to your most elemental parts. It’s a little killing, from which you’ve naturally recoiled. Instead, you must press in. Be reborn.”” – Lindsey Lamh, Chapter 21, Page 166
Excerpts with permission from author.
Is This An Overview?
Death stalks the Bancroft family. Only Ambrose and Mattie remain after close family members pass. The siblings return to London after their period of mourning. London carries with it many remembrances of the departed. Ambrose wants to reenter society, by going to soirées. But Mattie is resistant, as Mattie wants to remain secluded. Ambrose wants the best for Mattie, and tries to get Mattie to reenter society. Ambrose thinks that reentry is what is best for Mattie, that reentry would make Mattie happy. But wanting what is best for someone, is not the same as what is best for someone. Mattie knows that Ambrose loves Mattie, and understands that Ambrose is only trying to help, but the more Ambrose presses decisions unto Mattie, the more Mattie becomes frustrated. Leading to Mattie’s betrayal of Ambrose, and going back to Linwood Manor.
Mattie has discovered a secret within Linwood. A way for Mattie to not feel the burden of grief. A realm that enables Mattie’s fantasies. For Linwood is connected to a realm beyond the physical. In the physical realm, Ambrose witnesses Mattie’s health decline. Wants to help Mattie, but the only way to help Mattie would be to listen to Mattie. To follow Mattie into the realm. A realm that appears to want to help Mattie, but Ambrose sees how the realm hurts Mattie. Can Ambrose save Mattie, even if Mattie does not listen to Ambrose? This is a story of grief, the power of listening, and letting loved ones make their own decisions.
The reader needs to be emotionally prepared for the topics. Character interactions reflect genuine choices and thoughts, but they can be misunderstood by those who have not gone through the same emotional experiences. The characters values reflect their era, which can make certain decisions and interactions that are significant appear insignificant, odd, or wrong to those without a cultural reference.