I skipped to the end of a book last night.... I HAD to! It was 1 am and today is babysitting day. I had to get some rest. But I needed to know so many things about the book before I could go to sleep.
The book is The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. Just think of that title. Does it bring up images of shadows and gothic towers and icy fingers? Put a synonym for dark into your title and, whoosh!, interest will soar.
One of the reasons I couldn't sleep is that the blurb on the back of the galley hinted at a lurking evil. There were lots of noises in the night and things mislaid and forgetfulness and awful nightmares but a little past the halfway mark - and midnight - I began to suspect a good old fashioned conspiracy. So I skipped to the end.
And I can't tell you what I found there. But I will tell you my questions:
Is this the beginning of a series? Well, there are a couple of threads that could be followed but this book can stand alone. In other words, wait and see.
Is there magic in this book? I will have to go back and read what I skipped.
Is character X a good guy or a bad guy? Ah, now that would be telling, wouldn't it?
Does our heroine follow her heart and best impulses or fall back on "only doing what I was told" as an excuse? What do you think?
Who was running around the empty mansion? ??? IDK Why do the portraits move around? IDK Where did all the hair come from? I don't know, I tell you.
Is Uncle Tully really an idiot savant of clockwork creations or is he faking it? I have to read what I skipped. He's adorable, either way.
Does a certain nasty aunt get what she deserves? Well, I do know the answer to that one.
Does the path of true love run smooth? This book is not a fairytale, hints of magic notwithstanding.
For a darkly (that word again) atmospheric look at a magical early Victorian country estate and a story of family dysfunction and loyalty, you have to read this book. The characters are quirky, genuine and mysterious. Except for the villains...they are just awful. Well, to give them the benefit of the doubt, the villains are products of their time and culture. There. Now, I have to go back and fill in the blanks.