Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Secret Heiress by Luke Devenish book review

A fabled house. A fabulous fortune. Beautiful, identical twins...

Dark shadows fall across the golden summer of 1886. Naive country girl Ida Garfield longs to escape the farm and when Miss Matilda Gregory, the elegant mistress of Summersby House, offers Ida employment as a housemaid, Ida leaps at the chance. Yet it’s not for her servant’s skills that she’s wanted.

It’s her inquisitiveness...

But before Ida starts her first day, Miss Gregory is found dead. Fearing her one chance of bettering herself lost, Ida goes to the funeral, hoping that someone else from Summersby will still want her.

Someone does. Handsome blond Englishman Mr Samuel Hackett is the late Miss Gregory’s fiancĂ©. He expresses a keen need for a housemaid – and a friend.

But Miss Gregory’s will brings to light an extraordinary deception and a terrible wrong from the past. Summersby has a secret heiress, whose name is also Matilda Gregory... A strange, ethereal girl with an irrevocably broken memory.

Could Samuel Hackett be responsible for his fiancĂ©e’s death? A pact made with Barker, Hackett’s dark and dangerous valet, is effective in silencing tongues. The two young men return the second Matilda to her inheritance – and set off a series of bizarre events.

Secretly in love with Samuel, yet determined to aid the fragile heiress, Ida uncovers eerie messages from beyond the grave hinting at Summersby’s disturbing past – and its foreboding future.

And Ida learns the terrible truth about the secret heiress … and an even more shocking legacy.

4 stars.

The Secret Heiress is An Australian Gothic novel by Luke Devenish a relatively new genre for me. 

I found it to be a refreshing read, something new and exciting and with all the underlying factors one would expect within a gothic novel I found it delivered. 

I was not disappointed.

Doom, inheritance, darkness, mystery, past, and old buildings. The tone of the story is well presented throughout the book, giving the reader that Gothic feel . 

The Secret Heiress contains a lot of mystery within the pages one that will have you page turning to find out which way it goes. Mysterious servants, grand and beautifully detailed house , two beautiful women,  dark and eerie forthcomings and lots of unfolding within the pages. Layers of story line added in  , gives it depth and added intrigue. 

The Secret Heiress first follows a young woman Ida in the year 1886, who begins work as a housemaid at Summersby House, which is set in Victoria - Australia. 

17 years later Biddy makes a move from Melbourne to wait upon a secret heiress In Summersby house - Both narratives are set 17 years apart both .

Devenish pens his story well, the plot is well delivered, giving us dark, eerie with that gothic - macabre or other darker elements entwined.

The Secret Heiress has a prevailing atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. I found this evident between the upstairs and downstairs staff .

Throughout the entire novel I had a feeling that something bad will happen; fearful apprehension. so to speak. 

This alone had me hooked to find out more. Luke created the atmosphere well between the pages, by also giving us well defined characters, a love triangle - treachery , lies and often slight confusion to the mystery of the twins status . But upon reading further this all pans out. 

Not knowing what will be thrown in or coming next - completely UNPREDICTABLE. 

A perfect read for all those dabbling in this genre,a challenging but highly gratifying read. 

You can find The Secret Heiress here on this Link - Simon & Schuster australia

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for supplying me this book for my honest review.