Synopsis by Goodreads
Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.
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.
New Oldbury, 1821
In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.
All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…
Hester Fox debut novel The Witch of Willow Hall wasn’t quite what I was expecting. To be honest, at first I wasn’t even sure if I was going to keep reading, but the possibility of a romance kept me going and now I’m so glad I stuck to it.
It’s the second time this year that I start reading a book and almost halfway through I’m not sure about it, but I decide to stick to it and then ends up being a brilliant read.
This is a book that fits perfectly with this spooky time of the year. I won’t say that is a very witchy heavy book, which was what I initial thought would be. Nonetheless, you get much more than you thought you would. There is really a lot more going on.
Lydia is a wonderful, well read and likeable main character. You just can’t help but wish for all her wishes to come true. I could really resonate with her as she is just one of those characters that has to always be so strong for her family that forgets about being strong for herself and get what she wants in life. Seeing her discovering her own strength makes it for a great character development alongside everything else that is happening in Willow Hall.
The Witch of Willow Hall reminds me at times, of the old Gothic fiction classics. There is mystery, a disgusting secret, romance, a wicked sister, ghosts, witchcraft, while being set in the eerie backdrop of New Oldbury from 1821.
With all that is going on, the romance is really what I love the most. I’m a sucker for romance and historical novels are always my favourite because they play on the ‘will they, or will they not’ for longer. The anticipation really excites me, is one of my favourite tropes and Hester has wrote it exactly how I love it.
Overall, even though the first half of the book made me unsure if I was enjoying it, the second half really turned things around for me and turned it into a great read. A haunting romantic historical read perfect for all Gothic romance lovers on Halloween.
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox is available as a paperback and you can get it now on Amazon (affiliated link).
Thanks HQ Stories for sending me a ARC of The Witch of Willow Hall in exchange for my honest review.