Genre: Gothic Fiction
Pub Date: 5.17.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
“When you live in defiance of yourself, you can adapt to your circumstances, but remnants of who you are at your core remain. A bit of wildness that can’t be tamed.”
“Iris Chapel and her five elegant sisters, all of them heiresses to the Chapel firearms fortune, live cloistered in a lavish Victorian mansion. Neglected by both a distant, workaholic father and a mentally troubled mother—who believes their home is haunted by the victims of Chapel weapons—the sisters have grown up with only each other for company. They long to escape the eerie fairy tale of their childhood and move forward into the modern world, but for young women in 1950s Connecticut, the only way out is through marriage.
Yet it soon becomes clear that for the Chapel sisters, marriage equals death.
When the eldest sister walks down the aisle, tragedy strikes. The bride dies mysteriously the very next day, leaving her family and the town in shock. But this is just the beginning of a chain of disasters that will make each woman wonder whether true love will kill her, too. Only Iris, the second-youngest, finds a way to escape—but can she outrun the family curse forever?”
Full disclosure, I picked up this book because of the cover. But, I stuck around for the authors writing style. Sarai Walker wrote with just enough mystery and subtlety that I couldn’t stop reading.
I saw this listed a fictional and a sub-genre mentioned horror – while I do see where one could see the horror element to the story, it didn’t feel overwhelmingly gory. It is gruesome and descriptive (specifically with the death of the first sister), but it in no way compares with other horror stories I’ve read in the past (hello, Book of Accidents).
The only facet that held me back from giving the book a full five stars is that I didn’t feel like I had the ending I needed. It’s difficult for me to explain without giving away too much of the story, but I think I needed more? Don’t get me wrong; it was an exceptional plot that kept me hooked; I was just a bit let down with the ending.
🐌💨 Slow build, and then the story takes off
🌳 Family tree provided
🩸 Horror element
❗️- Graphic attempted suicide, self-harm, maternal death
Also, I highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end of The Cherry Robbers. She provides a lot of context and inspiration for the story! I can’t wait to read the next book Walker writes.
Format: 432 pages, hardback
Published: May 2022 by Harper Books
ISBN 9780358251873 (ISBN10: 0358251877)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Harper Books , in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.