After a fantastic holiday to the beautiful Mumbles, I am delighted to be back and sharing my review for this fantastic book. This was definitely a 5 star read for me and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde is out in Hardback and eBook now. Please note that this book is called The Wilding Sisters in the US!
From the present day . . .
Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.
to the fifties . . .
When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before.
The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?
Step back in time for a richly evocative mystery, where the beauty of a Cotswolds summer is vividly contrasted with the violence which shatters it.
There are so many books described as being, ‘perfect for Kate Morton fans’ that I was a little sceptical when I started this book. However I needn’t have worried as I thought this book was fantastic and well deserved the comparison.
Firstly I loved the setting of Applecote Manor. The description of those seemingly endless summer days of childhood, discovering new friends and creating mysteries everywhere was brilliant. It definitely had me feeling nostalgic for my own childhood and the adventures I had with my sister in the woods behind our house. The house almost seemed alive at times as it seemed to change depending on the moods of the occupants and seemed to help them discover clues to solve the mystery. This helped contribute to the spooky atmosphere that is present throughout the book.
The characters were all very well imagined and developed throughout the book, seeming very realistic and true to life. I especially liked Margot who reminded me of me from my childhood slightly geeky (OK I was very geeky!), misunderstood and suffering from eczema. She was definitely was a character I felt I could get behind and I found myself hoping she would have the happy ending I felt she deserved. I also felt sorry for Jessie as I felt she was a women trying her best against a very angry and obstructive step daughter. Her attempts to make a better, happier life for her new family was very poignant at times. I never really warmed to Ben though. I wanted to shake him for his casual attitude towards His daughters obvious grief for her late mother and for letting her drive a wedge between him and Jessie. I don’t think I would have been as patient and understanding as Jessie was.
The mystery of what happened to Audrey was well played out with the truth of what happened being gradually revealed. This helps keep the reader very intrigued and I kept reading as I wanted to find out what happened. The twist at the end took me by surprise as I thought the mystery had been solved. I also liked that the author included information about what happened to the characters after the summer and how things turned out for them.
This is Eve Chase’s second novel and the second of hers that I have read. I really look forward to reading any future work from her and highly recommend her to anyone who hasn’t read anything by her yet.
Huge thank you to Gaby Young and Michael St Joseph publisher for copy if this book.
About The Author:
I write from a shed/studio in my garden in Oxford, accompanied by bits of wildlife that creep over the threshold to investigate my biscuit crumbs. A small space, it’s perfect for cooking up bigger ones: sprawling, richly dysfunctional families, stories that seed into the cracked mortar of old houses. I love to read about such things, and write about them. I also love a cracking narrative pace. Words that dance on the tongue. Characters you want to scoop up and put in your pocket for safe keeping.
I’m married with three children.
I dream of Black Rabbit Hall’s boot room.
(Bio from Author’s web site)