"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"
I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Constantia Gifford, the taxidermist’s daughter, is 22 years old and unmarried. She lives with her father in a decaying mansion, Blackthorn House, that houses the remains of his once world-famous museum of taxidermy. Connie has no recollection of why it closed as she suffered a childhood accident that erased all the memories of her childhood days.
A woman is found dead. Connie’s memory starts to surface. Something about the victim is familiar but every time it starts to come to her, the memory stops. Her father won’t answer her questions. There is a dark secret in Blackthorn House. It’s buried within Connie’s mind as well. It draws her closer, until the startling truth can no longer be contained.
I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
This book took me totally by surprise. Not one to usually read Gothic historical thrillers, I was surprisingly sucked in from the beginning. This chilling tale was well written and richly atmospheric. I felt I was transported in time and taken on a dark journey with Connie, as she tried to remember her past so she could learn the truth and connect it to the present. The characters, although at times I would get them confused due to similarity in names, were interesting and complex; multi-layered personalities that had you questioning who were the good guys and who weren’t. The gruesome techniques of taxidermy that were included were a little unsettling, but it also gave an interesting look into the field that I know very little about. The way Connie describes it as capturing the beauty for a lifetime made me see it a little differently than I had before.
Overall, this is a wonderfully crafted tale and I enjoyed it immensely, finding it very difficult to put down. I am thankful I was given the opportunity to read it.