Nobody ever goes to Hartwood Hall. Folks say it’s cursed…
It’s 1852 and Margaret Lennox, a young widow, attempts to escape the shadows of her past by taking a position as governess to an only child, Louis, at an isolated country house in the west of England.
But Margaret soon starts to feel that something isn’t quite right. There are strange figures in the dark, tensions between servants, and an abandoned east wing. Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs. Eversham, Louis’s widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted in the village.
Lonely and unsure whom to trust, Margaret finds distraction in a forbidden relationship with the gardener, Paul. But as Margaret’s history threatens to catch up with her, it isn’t long before she learns the truth behind the secrets of Hartwood Hall.
When I think of Hartwood Hall, there are moments that come back to me again and again, moments that stain me, that cling like ink to my skin.
* Thanks to NetGalley and Dutton for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
solid, good read:
I know I’m in the minority here, but I’ve never been a big fan of Jane Eyre, so if I had known The Secrets of Hartwood Hall was a story in the same vein I never would’ve requested it. Luckily I didn’t know, and while I struggled initially, I ended up really enjoying this book.
It takes a little too long to get into any of the interesting parts of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall. It feels like the direction of the narrative was a little lost at first, but Lumsden found the thread eventually and pulled everything together. There were some pleasant surprises, and while I figured out parts of the reveal at the end, there were some definite happy miscalculations on my part.
I’d recommend The Secrets of Hartwood Hall for a Jane Eyre Victorian gothic atmosphere with a more modern twist, despite the historical setting.