The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

Lindsay’s review

Long hidden family secrets. An old secluded (haunted?) mansion. Unreliable and mysterious characters. Gothic foreboding atmosphere. This book has all the ingredients to satisfy my reading tastes!

Miranda discovers a letter from her estranged twelve-year-old cousin asking for help. Intrigued by her mothers’ dark and secretive past, Miranda starts to dig into her familial background uncovering secrets and long buried stories that make her question her sense of identity.

The writing was excellent! I was completely engrossed from the first to last page and felt as if I were actually there alongside the characters. The thick, eerie atmosphere was palpable and ever-so-enjoyable. The pace and flow were consistently perfect and kept me curious throughout. Miranda was a unique and endearing character who I loved rooting for – I enjoyed following her journey in uncovering her family’s past.

Though there were a few convenient situations that occurred within the pages of this story, they didn’t take away from my love for this novel. The writing, characters, old mansion house, family secrets and foreboding atmosphere were so brilliantly done that I could easily overlook those aspects and stay lost within the story.

This was a phenomenal debut novel and I look forward to reading what this author comes out with next!

Thank you to Edelweiss for the review copy! Thank you to my lovely local library for the loan of the physical copy!

Brenda’s review

Well, well, this one surprised me! A lot is going on here with this one, and I had to think a bit about how to describe this story. I would say it’s a modern gothic psychology thriller, entertaining family drama with a hornet’s nest of secrets and lies and a twist to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Because I like to make up phrases, I would also call this a surface read. What you read is what you get. I didn’t find much depth layered in here to the story or the characters. It’s an easy, entertaining read with enough suspense and tension to keep me turning the pages to see how it all comes together. I would say there is some of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca brilliantly layered in well (layered might be a stretch)in the story, and that could be a hit or miss for some readers.

I enjoyed the eerie gothic feel to the story however the modern side of the story with Miranda’s character and her fall from social media grace missed that mordern mark for me, and that felt disjointed from the story for me. I found Miranda likable and more a shallow character, and because there wasn’t much depth to her, and I didn’t deleve into her character like a normally do. For me, it was all about the suspense, and I enjoyed her quest to find those secrets and lies hidden in the house of brides.

I enjoyed the easy feel to the story that didn’t require a lot from me, and like Lindsay, it “had all the ingredients to satisfy my reading tastes” and gave that overthinker in me a rest. I highly recommend for an entertaining, light and easy read.

I received a copy from the publisher!