The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox ~ 368 pages ~ published 10/2/18 by Graydon House (Harlequin)
Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.
Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.
New Oldbury, 1821
In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.
All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…
What I Thought:
When I heard that The Witch of Willow Hall was a Jane Austen-esque ghost story, I knew I needed to read it! I received this as an e-ARC from NetGalley. I am typically not a fan of scary things (movies especially, but books as well), but this book had just the right amount of eerie for a giant chicken like me!
I enjoyed the dynamic between the three sisters. It is always interesting to see how an author handles the bond between sisters who are vastly different and might not even like each other very much. I found this part of the story to be incredibly realistic.
Lydia was an interesting heroine as well. She is a very soft and quiet character, which left a lot of room for the story surrounding her. Getting to see the setting from her point of view was chilling as well. I really liked reading the story from her perspective. The book was very atmospheric, and I definitely could envision myself there.
As for the creepiness factor, there is a lot of spectral activity, but nothing that seems to be overly threatening (apart from one character, but I won’t discuss it to avoid spoiling a key point in the plot). I got a lot of Bronte vibes from the paranormal side of this book, who I also love dearly! This was the perfect book to read around Halloween for me, a little bit scary but not too much.
The only thing lacking for me was the mystery of why the family had to remove to the country. It is alluded to throughout the novel, but I found the wait for the explanation more annoying than intriguing. I’m not sure how this could have been done better, but that is why it dropped a half star rating for me.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book! I loved the characters, the setting, and the ghost story! A great read for a scaredy-cat like me!
I gave The Witch of Willow Hall 4.5 STARS! If you enjoy Austen and the Bronte sisters, and are not a huge fan of really scary books but would like a little bit of creepiness, then this is the book for you!
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Have you read The Witch of Willow Hall? Are you a fan of ghost stories? Historical fiction? What are some other books in this same vein that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below!
Love and happy reading,