Saturday, March 08, 2014

{Whatcha Reading?} The Devil in the Corner

From Amazon: 

Penniless, and escaping the horrors of life as a governess to brutal households, Maud seeks refuge with the cousin-by-marriage she never knew. But her efforts to please Juliana are met with increasing levels of contempt as it becomes apparent that Juliana is jealous of Maud's youth and beauty. Further, Juliana quashes Maud's emerging friendships with the staff and locals - especially John, the artist commissioned to restore the sinister Doom in the local church. John, however, is smitten with Maud and makes every effort to woo her. Maud, isolated and thwarted at every turn, continues to take the laudanum which was her only solace in London (and which was commonplace in Victorian London). Soon she becomes dependent on the drug - so is this the cause of her fresh anxieties? Or is someone - or something - plotting her demise? Is the devil in the corner of the Doom a reality, or a figment of her imagination? And what is its power? Will Maud ever learn the truth of her inheritance and be free? Will she lose John for ever?

This one is wonderfully dark and gothic, with an unreliable narrator who kept me guessing until the absolute end.  Maud is in a desperate situation, without a penny to her name and completely dependent upon Juliana’s whims.  She’s haunted by her past, struggling to exist in her current circumstances, but her life is so close to changing for the better. 

In case you're wondering what it looks like, the painting in the book is inspired by a real work of art, the Wenhaston Doom.

Disclosure -- the publisher provided me with a review copy.

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