Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Room Beyond by Stephanie Elmas
"In our world things appear and disappear about us all the time."
Haunting, time-bending gothic ghost story tells the story of an evil man's legacy and its effects on a modern day family at 36 Marguerite Avenue in Kensington.
Present day: Serena arrives at the beautiful mansion on Marguerite Avenue to interview for a position as a live-in nanny to Beth, the 4-year-old granddaughter of Arabella and Edward Hartreve. Beth's teen mother, Eva, also lives in the house along with several other interesting characters. The job is given to Serena on the spot and on her first day of work she's shown to her beautiful turret room "like a nest perched amidst London's rooftops" that she falls in love with immediately. Serena is perplexed as she begins to live with the strange family in that mansion -- one thing she notices right away, it seems there is an oddity with the house numbering. House 32 is occupied by the Herbert family and 36 by the Hartreves. House 34 is missing. There are some other quite strange goings on inside house 34 and at another unusual family home -- Druid Manor -- where the Hartreves go for Christmas. Does Serena sense things that others do not see? What strange connections exist between the family and whatever dark past they all share.
1892: Miranda and Tristan Whitestone live at 34 Marguerite Avenue. Imprisoned and almost invisible in a miserable marriage to a man she adores, Miranda watches as her husband takes the neighbor from 36, Mrs. Lucinda Eden, as his most recent lover. Events transpire that turn Miranda's world into a nightmare and she leaves her home and life behind, escaping with damaged cargo in the dead of night.
This twisted tale shifts between those two time periods weaving together a story of evil and destruction that centers on Marguerite Avenue. Pervasive themes of loneliness and pain linger throughout as the reader is drawn into the lives of the families that lived on this street over a hundred years apart. Serena is lured into a shadow world that exists within the houses on that street and is tormented by unanswerable questions about who these people are, what happened there, and what they want from her.
Recommended for anyone who loves a mystery with supernatural elements.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the ebook ARC to review.