The Witch of Willow Hall

The Witch of Willow HallThe Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Published by Graydon House on October 2nd 2018
Pages: 368
ISBN: 1525833014
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three-half-stars

“Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.”

A witch who doesn’t know she is a witch! A family who flees Boston amidst scandal, moves to the town of New Oldbury in 1821. Looking to start over, will they find happiness, or will the past haunt them?

The Montrose Family was once a prominent family living in Boston until they were enveloped in a mysterious Scandal. Deciding to leave the city (and rumors) behind, Mr. Montrose, along with his wife and three daughters (Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline) moves into a summer home known as Willow Hall, in New Oldbury, MA. The reader knows that the is a son, but he does not make the move with the rest of the family. Why? Mr. Montrose will be a partner in the local Mill owned by a young man by the name of John Barrett.

Lydia meets John Barrett as he helps her find her younger sisters lost dog and she feels an instant attraction to him. Lydia is not the most confident person and is often put down and somewhat bullied by her older sister Catherine. While the older two sister often clash, both adore their younger sister, Emeline. Young Emeline is full of adventure and years to find mermaids in the pond on the property and speaks of a boy at the pond who speaks to her.

Lydia has not felt comfortable in Willow Hall or the surrounding woods. She doesn’t sleep well and begins to see and hear things that no one else in the family can. She knows that something isn’t quite right at their home and has questions about one of her descendants. When tragedy strikes, Lydia begins to see ghosts and learns more about her abilities.

I loved the Gothic feel of this book. Plus, the premise is interesting: a family driven from Boston due to a scandal, a young woman who is a witch but doesn’t know it or how to control her powers, a residence with a past, ghosts, tragedy, and a young man with ties to the property.

If you come into this book thinking it is going to be all about witchcraft, you will be disappointed. Yes, there is a witch in this story, but you will not see lots of spells being cast or black magic. This book touches on several things – ghosts, witches, mystery, some romance, scandal, family secrets, a little magic, and tragedy. As the book moves along, the reader learns about the scandal which caused the family to leave Boston, and the history of Willow Hall.

This book does have a sense of dread and foreboding throughout. It’s not a fast-moving book in the action sense, not a lot of action happens until closer to the end of the book. Having said that, the story is interesting and as the truth comes out, secrets are revealed, and several characters show their true colors. Lydia is a likable character and I was invested in what would happen to her, would she find answers, would she find happiness, would she find a way to harness the powers she doesn’t quite understand, etc. This book is a slow burn where the story builds, along with the sense of foreboding, until the end when revelations take place. I would have liked a little more magic thrown in but overall an enjoyable read.

I received a copy of this book from Graydon House and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.

three-half-stars