cover image The Garden of Bewitchment

The Garden of Bewitchment

Catherine Cavendish. Flame Tree, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-78758-341-2

Cavendish (The Darkest Veil) draws from the best conventions of the genre in this eerie gothic novel about a woman’s sanity slowly unraveling within the hallways of a mysterious mansion. In 1893, twin sisters and aspiring authors Claire and Evelyn Wainwright leave their Yorkshire home for a reclusive life on the expanse of England’s moors. Their retreat is disrupted when a strange toy turns up inside their new house: a miniature mansion surrounded by a beautiful garden. Entranced by the toy, Claire believes herself to be able to enter its halls and gardens and becomes increasingly possessed by its ghostly inhabitants. As Claire loses her grip on reality, Evelyn tries to uncover the truth behind the dollhouse and free her sister from its power. Though numerous red herrings create unnecessary confusion, Cavendish successfully maintains the suspense as she dives into the intricacies of her carefully-constructed world. Fans of gothic tropes will appreciate the atmosphere and intensity of this horror tale. (Feb.)