My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This chilling novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Lake of Dead Languages blends the gothic allure of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and the crazed undertones of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper with the twisty, contemporary edge of A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife—a harrowing tale of psychological suspense set in New York’s Hudson Valley.
When Jess and Clare Martin move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to their former college town in the Hudson River valley, they are hoping for rejuvenation—of their marriage, their savings, and Jess's writing career.
They take a caretaker's job at Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor. While Clare once had dreams of being a writer, those plans fell by the wayside when Jess made a big, splashy literary debut in their twenties. It's been years, now, since his first novel. The advance has long been spent. Clare's hope is that the pastoral beauty and nostalgia of the Hudson Valley will offer some inspiration.
But their new life isn't all quaint town libraries and fragrant apple orchards. There is a haunting pall that hangs over Riven House like a funeral veil. Something is just not right. Soon, Clare begins to hear babies crying at night, and sees strange figures in fog at the edge of their property. Diving into the history of the area, she realizes that Riven House has a dark and anguished past. And whatever this thing is—this menacing force that destroys the inhabitants of the estate—it seems to be after Clare next…
I read The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman a couple of years ago and was deeply impressed with the book. After that, did I read The Ghost Orchid and The Sonnet Lover and was not as impressed (not bad books, just not was good as The Lake of Dead Languages). So, when I saw this book and read the description did I immediately want to read it. I love old mysterious houses and the description of this book, about a couple moving there as caretakers made me think of The Shining. Especially since the husband is a writer.
I quite enjoyed reading The Widow's House, the story is good, and I felt that the characters are complex and there is something very weird going on. Clare Martin has had problems in the past, for instance, a miscarriage when she was in college and her childhood was a hard one. And, now at the house, is she experiencing things that make her wonder if the house is haunted or if she is losing it.
One thing I truly loved about the book is how not everything is at it seems, Clare's husband Jess didn't make a good first impression on me, and although the book did I feel that he was a self-centered son of a bitch. But, the ending, without wanting to give anything away, I love how Carol Goodman decided to write an ending that just turned everything around.
The Widow's House kept my interested up from the beginning until the end. I've been a bit tired of reading psychological thrillers with a woman in center trying to solve a mystery, but this book felt refreshing to read. I felt that I connected with the story and its characters and I was eager to learn the truth about the house.
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!