Gilded Cage

Lucinda Gray. Holt, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62779-181-6
In this uneven rags-to-riches tale set in 1821, Virginia farm girl Katherine Randolph and her brother, George, travel to England after they inherit an estate. Walthingham Hall turns out to be a dangerous place, full of secrets, and after George drowns under suspicious circumstances, Katherine is left to untangle the clues as her allies are picked off one by one—she’ll either find the murderer or risk being deemed mad. Classism over cavorting with servants, strict punishments for those who disobey, and the frenzied fear of a fairy tale beast in the woods give this pseudonymously written story an air of gothic eeriness, but it falls short of its potential. For a scrappy, capable orphan, Katherine is surprisingly willing to leave behind everything she knows and enter into a society where women are powerless, even considering the inherited wealth. Plot twists abound, but the characters tend to be categorized as good, bad, or indifferent, with few surprises among them, and the ending ties up too neatly, with a knight-in-shining-armor on hand for a final sweeping rescue. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2016
Release date: 08/02/2016
Ebook - 978-1-62779-653-8
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-62779-182-3
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