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Ratings and Reviews (2 3 star ratings
2 reviews

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3.7 out of 5
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    This debut novel hits the mark…and then some!

    When rumors force a wealthy Boston family to flee the city to the country side with their three daughters, life takes a turn in so many ways. Not only does the middle daughter, Lydia, see her sisters for who they really are to her, she finds out exactly who she is and comes into her own. From the start, the author had my attention and I was fully immersed in the story. Historical fiction with a side of romance and major helping of creepiness, this debut novel hits the mark!
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    A wonderful historical paranormal romance

    First I would like to thank Netgalley and Graydon House for allowing me to read an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! Let me just say that I am not sure exactly what genre this books is but I guess I would call it a historical paranormal romance and let me tell you that I am here for it! I just loved this book. I was intrigued by the cover of the book that the blurb but I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I thought I would. This is the perfect book to read on a chilly Autumn evening by the fire. It is warm yet gothic, romantic, lovely and yet heartbreaking. Lydia Montrose has known for a long time that she was different and she can even tell you the exact day it hit her that something was off, she was around five and she hurt a crue little boy without touching him. After that her Mother warned her to never do that again. Though she didn't understand how she did what she did she tried her best to hide who truly is. In fact she did such a good job she began to live in denial of her true self. Years later Lydia, her parents, older sister Catherine and her youngest sister Emmeline flee Boston to the small town of Old Newbury and the towering Willow Hall due to a terrible scandal that caused her older brother to leave the country. The house is big and overpowering and the pond in the woods immediately enthralls young Emmeline who believes that the mermaids dwell there. While the the pond and thoughts of mermaids enthralls Emmeline Lydia finds her own obsession in the form of young, handsome John Barrett. Shortly after settling in to Willow Hall Lydia begins to hear an anguished cry of a woman a flash of white and messages written on a fogged mirror. While the title of this novel is called "The Witch of Willow Hall" you won't find much witchcraft here. This is more about romance, family drama and a young woman discovering who she truly is. There is an unease throughout the book, as if you are just waiting for something bad to happen. The home and the grounds are a character as well. It's as if you can feel the house breathing around Lydia, engulfing her and her family. Lydia is a lovely, likable character and if you, like me are a bit bookish and quiet you will find much of yourself in Lydia. She is brave, strong, kind and thoughtful. Traits we all hope to have. Set in 1821 she is such a headstrong woman, the kind you would find in any Jane Austen novel. John is the kind of man we all dreamed of as young girls and Lydia's relationship with the sweet and adorable Emmeline is heartwarming. The one flaw for me was Lydia and Catherine's relationship. I hate when one sister views the other with such disdain. I understand why but it just made me hate Catherine and have no sympathy for her at all. Other than that I loved this book. Hester Fox's writing is fantastic. You picture clearly everything in the bok.. I knew exactly what the pond looked like with the willow tree, I could picture the general store in town and I knew exactly what the town's desperate busybody looked like. Full of romance, love, misunderstandings and yes, a little magic I would recommend this!

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