The Witch of Willow Hall
by Hester Fox
Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy Fiction (YA Friendly)
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
Graydon House Books (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…
Review: 5 Stars
For some reason I had really low expectations for this book. A lot of fantasy novels that are combined with historical fiction move really slow and I think that’s why I wasn’t super excited for this one. While I do like historical fiction, it is a genre that I feel like I have to be in the mood for. When I opened this novel however, I could tell that the writing was going to keep me captivated. I tore through this book so fast.
I love the 1800’s and ladies dressed in puffy corseted gowns. I find that it is such a romanticized time period and the writing really added to that vibe. The manners of proper society and the ideas of balls and tea parlors is all fascinating to me. This book really made me ask myself why it had been so long since I have read any historical fiction. I think it is because sometimes history can feel so dry, but this novel felt romantic, but also a bit eerie.
Lydia was a sweet girl to read about. The way she cared for her younger sister Emeline was admirable. I could relate to her rivalry with her older sister Catherine as well. Catherine was more of a character that I loved to hate. She was written so well, but was also extremely vain, bold and a bit mean to anyone who would dare to take attention away from her. She could even be downright vicious at times. As for Mr. John Barrett, I found him to be a perfect gentleman and an honorable man.
The plot read more like a historical romance novel than a fantasy. I felt reminded of Sense and Sensibility many times while reading. There were incredibly creepy parts to this novel though. I think that even though they were only sprinkled in here and there, the eerie parts were executed so well with incredibly vivid imagery.
I loved this book so much, it was spooky, but also incredibly romantic. It was historical fiction, yet not dry. But most important to me, as a reader who hates unnecessary romances, is that the romance was never cheesy and it felt necessary to the plot. This exceeded my expectations and then some. I’m so glad that I trusted my blogging friends and gave this one a chance.
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Witch-Willow-Hall-Hester-Fox/dp/1525833014/
- B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-witch-of-willow-hall-hester-fox/1127506198#/
- BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Witch-Willow-Hall/Hester-Fox/9781525833014
- Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781525833014
“Hester Fox’s THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL offers a fascinating location, a great plot with history and twists, and characters that live and breathe. I love the novel, and will be looking forward to all new works by this talented author!” –Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author
“Beautifully written, skillfully plotted, and filled with quiet terror, readers will devour this absorbing, Gothic tale of romance and suspense. Perfect for fans of Simone St James and Kate Morton.” — Anna Lee Huber, the national bestselling author of the historical Lady Darby Mysteries
“Beautifully written, with an intriguing plot full of suspense and mystery, The Witch of Willow Hall will cast a spell over every reader.” — Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies and Between You and Me
“I was entranced by this intriguing and spellbinding novel with its messages of love and loyalty and being true to who you really are. I hope Hester Fox goes on to write many more such novels–I for one will be buying them.” — Kathleen McGurl, author of The Girl from Ballymor
“With its sense of creeping menace and chilling undertones, this compelling story had me gripped from the first page. The vividly drawn characters cast their spell so convincingly, I couldn’t stop reading until I discovered what happened to them. A wonderful debut novel.”–Linda Finlay, author of The Flower Seller
About the Author
Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.
Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband. THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL is her first novel.
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