So, when Stephanie Elmas contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I was immediately intrigued – both by the concept and by the fact that it was truly a labour of love for her, having taken 7 years to write, inbetween real life stuff such as family and work. I have spent the last few days reading it – inbetween real life stuff such as family and work! And here is what I thought.
When Serena begins a new life working for the Hartreve family at 36 Marguerite Avenue she falls in love, not just with its eccentric and alluring inhabitants and their world, but with the house itself. Number 36 is a beautiful Victorian London mansion that has remained in the family for generations. Serena feels that by being here she has escaped the ghosts of her own sad childhood and found a true home, but she soon discovers that behind its gleaming surfaces Marguerite Avenue is plagued by secrets and mystery. Why does such a beautiful tranquil street seem sometimes to shimmer with menace? Is everyone in the family quite who they appear to be? And just what is it that the family is trying to hide from her?
Set in two timelines, with Serena beginning her employment with the Hartreve family and the relationship developing between her and the enigmatic Sebastian, we also head back to 1892 and meet Miranda Whitehouse, struggling in her marriage and forever under the watchful eye of her sister Jane. When she gets involved with the reclusive and mysterious Lucinda who lives next door, nothing will be the same again…
I love a novel that gives you true atmosphere and this one does just that… a beautifully descriptive writing style and classic tension building are key here and Stephanie Elmas pulls it off perfectly. The early part of the novel rambles gently but compellingly along but as things develop a much darker side appears – and from then on its a breathtaking rush to the final denouement. I wasnt expecting it to be that favourite thing of mine – a wonderfully twisty tale – but it was. The strong supernatural elements hit the mark and all in all this was a delightful surprise of a read.
Characterisation is terrific, I adored Miranda, she was perhaps my favourite but I have to give a nod to Walter Balanchine with his weird and wonderful style, a truly terrific creation indeed. As the strands of the separate stories are pulled together, I was pleased that this was an ebook, I’m fairly sure if it had been a physical book I would currently be suffering paper cuts from my eagerness to turn the pages. I loved it.
You will notice that plot details are rather lacking in this review – there is a reason for that – the absolute joy of this novel for me was that it wasnt quite what I was expecting, but what it turned out to be was captivating and delectable.
Find out more here: http://www.stephanieelmas.com/
Follow Stephanie on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/StephanieElmas
Purchase Information clickety click http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Room-Beyond-ebook/dp/B00FJ433QK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382606481&sr=1-1&keywords=the+room+beyond
Happy Reading Folks!