Amid the terror of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca have had their share of tragedy, having lost their mother to the Blitz and their father to suicide. Forced to leave London to work for the mysterious Mr. Brownwell at Abigale Hall, they soon learn that the worst is yet to come. The vicious housekeeper, Mrs. Pollard, seems hell-bent on keeping the ghostly secrets of the house away from the sisters and forbids them from entering the surrounding town—and from the rumors that circulate about Abigale Hall. When Eliza uncovers some blood-splattered books, ominous photographs, and portraits of a mysterious woman, she begins to unravel the mysteries of the house, but with Rebecca falling under Mrs. Pollard’s spell, she must act quickly to save her sister, and herself, from certain doom.
Perfect for readers who hunger for the strange, Abigale Hall is an atmospheric debut novel where the threat of death looms just beyond the edge of every page. Lauren A. Forry has created a historical ghost story where the setting is as alive as the characters who inhabit it and a resonant family drama of trust, loyalty, and salvation.
Abigale Hall is a book that didn't sell itself to me directly, it took a while for me to get into the story. But, at the same time was I curious enough to know more, to find out answers. Why did the aunt send Eliza and Rebecca to that weird house, and what's going on there? What's wrong with the housekeeper Mrs. Pollard. Is the house haunted or is it just Eliza imagining that? And, to be frank, what is going on with Rebecca? Lots of questions, and as the story progressed the more hooked I become until I finally had to admit that I was quite taken with the book.
Now, I have to admit that haunted houses are "my thing". Just give me a tragic or horrifying backstory or both and some poor family moving into the house and I'm sold. Abigale Hall has an interesting backstory and I wanted to know, is there a ghost or not? But, I must say that the ending really surprised me and pushed the stable 3-star rating to a 4-star rating. It's a jaw-dropping kind of ending, in many ways.
Abigale Hall may have taken some time for me to really get into, but it turned out to be one of those books that I'm glad I kept on reading. The story turned out to be really interesting and I was intrigued by Abigale Hall and really wanted to know what was going on there. And, most of all, I like that the conclusion really surprised me several times. It's not a horror story per se, more a mystery story with a bit of an ominous feeling to it.