"According to the official record, my husband had not died in the war. When there is a body, a grave, then a person has died. But no one ever tells you: When you have nothing but thin air, what happens then? Are you a widow, when there is nothing but a gaping hole in what used to be your life? Who are you exactly? For three years I had been trapped in amber--first in my fear and uncertainty, and then in a slow, chilling exhale of eventual inexorable grief."
England, 1921. Jo Mander's husband, Alex, was shot down over Germany in 1918. She now works for and lives with Alex's Aunt Dottie as a paid companion at Wych Elm House where Alex once lived as a boy. Jo hopes she'll feel closer to him there, but instead she finds herself haunted by Dottie's dead daughter, Frances. Jo hears footsteps in an empty hall; things in her room are mysteriously rearranged; and in the woods she hears the ghostly barking of a dog. It makes Jo wonder if she's losing her mind. Then there's the fact that Wych Elm House seems to be a house full of secrets and lies, and possibly a murderer. And Jo is right in the middle of it all.
What I love about Simone St. James' novels:
- Her female characters, while often imperfect and flawed, are never spineless or stupid.
- Her books are that perfect combination of mystery, romance, and ghostly suspense.
- Rich prose.
- Well-crafted plots that often have a surprising twist, or two at the end.
- That eerie Gothic atmosphere.
Other Simone St. James' novels that are must-reads: