ARC REVIEW: The Midnight House by Amanda Geard

Title: The Midnight House by Amanda Geard
Pages: 
432
Published by: 
Headline Publishing Group 
Publication date: 
12th May 2022
Genre: Historical fiction/Mystery
Format: Paperback
Amazon UK – Waterstones

Synopsis:

1940: In south-west Ireland, the young and beautiful Lady Charlotte Rathmore is pronounced dead after she mysteriously disappears by the lake of Blackwater Hall. In London, on the brink of the Blitz, Nancy Rathmore is grieving Charlotte’s death when a letter arrives containing a secret that she is sworn to keep – one that will change her life for ever.

2019: Decades later, Ellie Fitzgerald is forced to leave Dublin disgraced and heartbroken. Abandoning journalism, she returns to rural Kerry to weather out the storm. But, when she discovers a faded letter, tucked inside the pages of an old book, she finds herself drawn in by a long-buried secret. And as Ellie begins to unravel the mystery, it becomes clear that the letter might hold the key to more than just Charlotte’s disappearance.

My review:

A massive thank you to Headline Publishing Group for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Midnight House is one of the most captivating books I’ve read this year. 

Ellie is a disgraced journalist who has moved back home with her mother. Despite telling herself she’s not there as a journalist, she finds herself drawn to a long-buried mystery. In 1940, Lady Charlotte Rathmore was pronounced dead after she disappeared at Blackwater Hall. Told over a dual timeline and following three different women, this beautifully written story reveals what happened to Charlotte. 

I was worried I’d find it hard to keep track of three timelines as we follow Nancy Rathmore in 1940, her daughter, Hattie, in 1958 and then Ellie in 2019. However, the narrative effortlessly flows between each character and a compelling story unfolds. While I enjoyed all three narratives, I became so attached to Nancy and Charlotte. It’s clear from the start they have a strong bond and would do anything for each other. I loved how fierce these two women were and how protective Nancy was of Charlotte. I loved how fiery Charlotte was and how she knew exactly what she wanted out of life. She refused to conform to society’s expectations of women and decided early on that she wanted to escape it all. I absolutely adored her. 

Ellie is another strong character who stood her ground when she uncovered a massive scandal. She refused to be cowed by more influential people and covered the story anyway. While she unfortunately lost her job and her enthusiasm, it leads to Charlotte’s mysterious disappearance and we get to see Ellie thrive once again. My favourite part of this entire story is how it focuses on three strong and independent women. The men are background characters and we really get to see these women take control of some difficult situations. I was left in tears at the end as I really came to love these characters and the mystery of Charlotte’s disappearance was so beautifully written that I couldn’t hold back my tears. 

Amanda Geard has created a brilliantly moving story that captured my full attention and my heart. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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