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The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox: A Book Review

The Witch of Willow Hall
Author: Hester Fox
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Graydon House
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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…

     My Review: When her family becomes the focus of a major scandal, Lydia and her family move to a rural town and settle into Willow Hall. The glittering mansion seems like it will be a new start for Lydia. However, the house seems to hold its own share of secrets and ghosts. As Lydia discovers the ghosts that walk through the corridors, she learns that her mother is keeping a major secret from her. She eventually digests the information about her dark past. Can Lydia ever accept who she is?

     Lydia is a very complex character. She has a good relationship with her youngest sister, Emeline. She loves and cares for her. However, she does not get along with her older sister and is often critical and judgmental of her actions. She is often to rude to the man she loves and accuses him for his actions without asking for his side of the story. She is very selfish. There were times when she can be almost ruthless, and I was horrified by one of the deeds that she almost committed. Yet, this is what makes her a fascinating character. She is always battling against the evil forces within herself. She always strive to be good and resist the temptation to commit horrible crimes.

     Overall, this novel is about self-identity, loss, family, and acceptance. I thought the author needed to work on character development. Most of them are stereotypical, and the villain was cartoonish. There were also a few subplots that did nothing to enhance the plot. Still, The Witch of Willow Hall is well-written and is very atmospheric. Its gothic setting and paranormal aspects will suck you into the story right away! The Witch of Willow Hall is an enjoyable novel and is a fun read for Halloween!I recommend this for fans of The Other English Wife, The Phantom Tree, and The Haunting of Maddy Clare.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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