My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The year is 1922 and Grace has been hired to be a little boy's governess in the crumbling Fenix House. She is following in her grandmother's footsteps who was governess there years ago. Grace has heard stories since she was little about the house, but she realized when she arrives at Fenix House that her grandmother's stories perhaps not are all true. Why did her grandmother that she should work at the house and what really happened all the years ago when her grandmother worked a summer at Fenix House?
I read The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan last year and liked the book and I knew that I wanted to read this one when I saw that this one also had to a story about two women in different eras, one in 1878 and one in 1922. In 1878, we meet Harriet who has lost her father and has to work as a governess since she because her father's business crashed. Around 40 years later her granddaughter Grace also takes the job as a governess. Both women have what her grandmother calls “glimmers”; vague visions of the future. Grace realized quite soon that everything her grandmother told her is not entirely true. For instance, the room she gets is not the one that her grandmother described for her, but it's the room that every governess has slept in. And, that is just a little thing, the more she learns the more she realizes that her grandmother has told her quite a lot of embellished stories while the truth seems to be that the summer all those years ago is a much darker story.
There was a moment around 60-70% into the book when I felt a bit frustrated with the fact that there were 200 pages left of the book. I did enjoy the story, but I felt that a 500+ pages book need to have a story that keeps the interest up all the time and right at that moment I felt that too much of the time was spent on less interesting events and I wanted to know what really happened in 1878. Fortunately, the story picked up the pace and I was rewarded with a really good ending.
I enjoyed most of the book, I did, however, feel that the "romance" in 1878 was a bit predictable. But Harriet's past with the wife in the house made the story really good. The book was a bit darker that I expected. I thought it would just be a granddaughter discovering that her grandmother had a different past than she had been told since she was little. Which, in a way is true, but still the story turned out different from what had I expected, which I liked.
I liked both storylines. Sometimes a storyline is weaker than the other, but in this book both are interesting to read. I also think that this book is better than The Girl in the Photograph. The story is more interesting and I loved they way Riordan decided to end the book.
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!