Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publisher: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback
Frances Barnett and Abby Bernacki are two haunted young mothers living in the same house in two different centuries.
1885: Frances Barnett is in the Northampton Lunatic Hospital, telling her story to a visitor. She has come to distrust her own memories, and believes that her pregnancy, birth, and early days of motherhood may have impaired her sanity.
During the earliest months of her baby’s life, Frances eagerly followed the famous murder trial of Mary Stannard—that captivated New Englanders with its salacious details and expert forensic testimony. Following—and even attending—this trial, Frances found an escape from the monotony of new motherhood. But as her story unfolds, Frances must admit that her obsession with the details of the murder were not entirely innocent.
Present day: Abby has been adjusting to motherhood smoothly—until recently, when odd sensations and dreams have begun to unsettle her while home alone with her baby. When she starts to question the house’s history, she is given the diary of Frances Barnett, who lived in the house 125 years earlier. Abby finds the diary disturbing, and researches the Barnett family’s history. The more Abby learns, the more she wonders about a negative—possibly supernatural—influence in her house. She becomes convinced that when she sleeps, she leaves her daughter vulnerable—and then vows not to sleep until she can determine the cause of her eerie experiences.
Frances Barnett might not be the only new mother to lose her mind in this house. And like Frances, Abby discovers that by trying to uncover another’s secrets, she risks awakening some of her own.
After a confusing start this book did keep me captivated. I have a huge to be read pile. While picking books I read the synopsis and decide if it would be a good book for me. It goes on the pile and the moment I decide to pick it up I do not read the synopsis again. There are moments that I wonder if I should read it again and with this book I was at some point asking myself why it ended up on my to be read pile. I soon realised why though.
The book takes of with chapters switching between two people. One part of the story is in 2014 the other way back in 1885. Both are female and mothers. But I honestly did not have a clue for the first 50 pages who these people were and why I was reading the story. As the mysteries are solved the parallels of the stories come together. Filled with murder investigations and being very curious for Frances and being hunted by a situation from the past for Abby this book tells a story about taking responsibility in situations.
As both female characters suffer from weary behaviour and inconsistent story telling it was hard to connect to them. They felt off which did help with the story atmosphere. I think I felt most sorry for both babes having to deal with their mothers running around like that. I was surprised how Abby got away with her behaviour though as her husband did seem like a caring person and his business trip came way late in the whole story. Though there are parallels in the story I do feel both these stories could have worked without each other. Specially Frances part had enough interesting things I would have likes to read more about.