The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Water. It is everywhere in this book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book more suited for a rainy, stormy night than this one. The atmosphere is so dark, dreary, gray, and just down right wet. There are constant rain showers, pounding a thunderstorms and horrific accident involving the backyard pond. Grab a rain coat and some tissues-this book is an adventure.

Moving to the countryside to escape an appalling-and it’s a doozy- scandal doesn't save the Montrose family from heartache and devastation. Lydia Montrose, the middle daughter with secrets of her own, does her best to keep the family peace by caring for her younger sister Emeline while also trying to save her family from her older sister Catherine’s scandalous antics.

In Catherine’s defense, the book is set during a time where smiling at a man could ostracize you from society. But that’s her only defense-the girl has some serious issues to deal with. Also, I really don’t like getting negative on here-we have way too much of that everyday-but the scandal they’re running from? I could really do without that. There are so many ways that society has deemed women’s behavior scandalous that the options were endless. I did not like this option. I just didn’t.

The family's new home has completely unnerved their neighbor, John Barrett. Barrett is very upset after finding out that the family has decided to stay in the house full time but doesn’t provide any reasoning for his reaction. Even more unsettling to Lydia is the house seems to be home to a malevolent spirit that calls to Lydia and her younger sister and fighting it is proving exhausting.

When the family attempts to gain the good graces of their neighbors by hosting a town hall and party, the family suffers a horrible loss. In that loss, Lydia discovers a power in her that is both frightening and alluring. It’s a power that has been hidden since her earliest memories. But is it real?

If Lydia isn't careful, she will lose not only those that she loves, but herself as well.

A dark and troubling story of sibling rivalry, family tragedy, and deceit. Richly told with twists and turns that will have you questioning your own sanity.

This read like it could be the first in a series-and I hope it does continue because more information needs told about many of the different plot points. It’s published by Graydon House for YA audiences but besides the age of the main character, it didn’t feel like a YA novel at all so don’t let that keep you from giving it a shot.

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