The Witch of Willow Hall // Hester Fox

(It always starts with a Bishop, does it not?)

Boston, 1811.

What if your temper got the best of you, to disastrous results? What if you didn’t know what happened, only to find a boy beaten and bloody at your feet? What if you were only 8 and told it was best to never speak of the incident again? Lydia Montrose, though scared and confused, does what she is told.

New Oldbury, 1821.

Ten years later, the Montrose family flees Boston thanks to the scandalous accusations leveled at them. Only this time it isn’t Lydia’s fault. Relocating to grand, yet isolated Willow Hall seems to be just what the family needs. While the countryside (and a certain handsome neighbor) is idyllic, the expansive home’s atmospheric is malevolent, especially to Lydia and Emeline. After a terrible tragedy strikes the family, Lydia needs to discover who she truly is, if she has any hope of rescuing herself and her family.

What a perfect autumn read! The Witch at Willow Hall* is Hester Fox’s debut novel and I loved it (not to put too fine a point on it). Featuring a strong female lead, a malicious sister, mysterious apparitions, an eligible bachelor, and secret family histories, there’s plenty to keep the pages turning, without being overwhelming. Equal parts gothic mystery, historical fiction, and ghost story, this is a book best read when the leaves are changing and the wind is howling.

Or whenever it strikes your fancy.

What do you consider a perfect autumn book?

*Review copy provided by Graydon House via Netgalley.

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