The Witch of Willow Hall + Giveaway




Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…


My Review

It is kind of funny that several of the readers where I read their reviews thought this book would be strongly focused on witchcraft. Ok, so maybe it is not too far off of a stretch to think that this book would be focused on witchcraft as the title does make you think that way. However, I was going into this book for the gothic vibes. For this reason, I can report that I did get these vibes.

Although, I do agree with other readers that out of the three sisters, I was drawn to Lydia. She was kind unlike Catherine. Catherine came off as spoiled and mean. With her sweet nature, Lydia did come off as more reserved as well. Yet, I never fully embraced any of the sisters with a strong bond including the other characters. This mixed with a slow, burning pace to this book; did make for some difficult reading. It was not until about the midway point before the story did pick up some. However, it is a struggle to hang on until this point. Overall, this was a fine read but it did leave me wanting way more.




Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Hester Fox

Hester Fox has a background in the museum field as a collections maintenance technician. This job has taken her from historic houses to fine art museums, where she has cleaned and cared for collections that range from paintings by old masters to ancient artifacts to early American furniture. She is a keen painter and has a Master’s in historical archaeology, as well as a background in medieval studies and art history. Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and their two cats.

Connect with Hester

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 
 
THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL by Hester Fox
 
 
Gingerly, I get up, my legs full of pins and needles from sit­ting on the floor so long. Just like the night of the woman in the garden, I can’t stay in the library knowing that someone might be there. I must go and look for myself.
Even with the sun coming through the windows, illumi­nating the wood floors and catching the light of the crystal lamps, I feel as if I’m making my way through a dark, murky passage. My feet are heavy, as if they know something that my mind does not.
The door to the dining room is closed. It beckons me, yet repels me, exuding a sense of silent occupation. My ears buzz. A singsong chorus of whispers grows as I approach.
Are you ready?
I am here.
You attract them.
Are you ready?
Prepare for what lies ahead.
Prepare.
Prepare.
They mount and mount into a dizzying jumble of sound and I run the rest of the way to the door, my heart in my chest, my eyes squeezed shut. Grasping the knob, I fling open the door. The voices die away.
I knew it would be there. But it doesn’t stop me from gasp­ing as every part of me curls back in on itself in horror. My blood turns to ice.
Seated at the table is a woman, or what used to be a woman. She sits as if she has every right to be there, as if she has always been there. A veil covers her face, but it is gauzy and thread­bare, and I can see the contours of the features beneath. Her dress is old, black as night yet opalescent as the moon through a cobweb. Paralyzed with fear, I watch as it moves about her of its own accord, a soft undulation as if she were underwater. And though I can see her as clear as day, the veiled woman in our dining room, there’s a translucence to her, and the pan­oramic wallpaper is just visible behind her. She is like nothing and no one I have ever seen before, and yet she is familiar, as if I have always known her.
“Come, child.” Her voice comes from everywhere and no­where, and when her words are finished, I have the unnerving feeling that they weren’t spoken aloud at all, but came from within my head.
She beckons me with a knobby finger, more bone than flesh.
I can’t drag my gaze away from her face, the sunken holes where there ought to be eyes, the lipless mouth, all teeth and blackness. The cold pie that I just enjoyed churns in my stom­ach and threatens to come up. She beckons me again, and I imagine those long, terrible fingers closing around my neck and choking the life out of me. I imagine them raking me across the face until ribbons of skin flutter from my skull. I stand my ground, unwilling to deliver myself up to her. She is the stuff of my novels, a grotesque horror that titillates on the page, but sends terror into my heart when in the same room as me.
She gives something like a grunt, and as if able to read my thoughts, says, “One hundred and thirty years of death is not gentle on a body. Come, do not gawk.” I dare not disobey her, so I force my leaden feet to move a few steps closer.
The smell of decay and death fills the room, sickly sweet and putrid at the same time. My stomach clenches at the memo­ries the odor brings back of Emeline in her coffin. My throat is tight, my mouth cotton, but somehow I’m able to gasp out, “W-who are you?”
She makes a noise, something between a snort and a laugh, a scraping, rattling sound, though it’s devoid of humor. “Do you not know your own forebear?”
The blackness of her dress curls around her like a snake, but she sits as motionless as if she were carved of stone. Her still­ness is suffocating, it dares the house to be silent, and punishes the sunlight for filtering in through the window.
Warily, I come to a halt at the edge of the dining room table. I don’t know what she’s talking about. “Forebear?”
“Have you not looked upon me since you were a babe? Do you not recognize in me what flows through you?”
“I…” But then it comes to me. The lace collar, though tat­tered and black as her dress, is unmistakable around her neck. “You’re the woman in the painting. Mother’s ancestor.”
The inclination of her head is small, barely perceptible.
 

Instagram Tour:

Monday, October 1st: @bookishwinterwitch
Monday, October 1st: @wherethereadergrows
Tuesday, October 2nd: @everlasting.charm
Tuesday, October 2nd: @jessicamap
Wednesday, October 3rd: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, October 4th: @theliterarybirds
Friday, October 5th: @bookloversnest
Friday, October 5th: @throneofshatteredbooks
Saturday, October 6th: @outofthebex
Sunday, October 7th: @jennblogsbooks “Sock Sunday”

Review Tour:

Monday, September 24th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, September 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, September 27th: Staircase Wit
Friday, September 28th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, October 1st: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, October 2nd: Jessicamap Reviews
Wednesday, October 3rd: A Dream Within a Dream
Monday, October 8th: Cheryl’s Book Nook – review and excerpt
Tuesday, October 9th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, October 10th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Thursday, October 11th: Broken Teepee
Monday, October 15th: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, October 16th: Booktimistic and @booktimistic
Wednesday, October 17th: @hotcocoareads
Thursday, October 18th: @bookishmadeleine
Friday, October 19th: Books and Bindings
Monday, October 22nd: Really Into This
Wednesday, October 24th: Katy’s Library and @katyslibrary
Friday, October 26th: Girls in Books and @girlsinbooks



I have one copy to giveaway US or Canada only. Winner chosen October 10th. Please leave a comment with your email address. To find out how to gain extra entries follow my Instagram page.

Comments

traveler said…
Thanks for this fascinating novel which interests me greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com
petite said…
Intriguing and unique book feature. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com
Thanks for being on the tour!

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