Publication Date: Available Now
Source: Author Review Copy.
A lonely novelist, A devoted fan, A journal that speaks of unspeakable things… Author Vida Tremayne lies silent in a hospital bed. The forces which brought about her terrifying decline are shrouded in mystery. Meanwhile, her estranged daughter Dory is forced to abandon her fast paced city life to be by her mother’s bedside. Dory is resentful. She hates the country and she and her mother were never exactly close. Luckily Vida already has a carer, the enigmatic Rhiannon Townsend. A long-standing fan of Vida’s, Rhiannon is happy to take care of the bedside vigil. Dory is free to resume her life. Or is she? Then she discovers her mother’s journal. Vida’s chilling testament reveals the trigger for her spiralling into madness. It also reveals the danger that still lurks close by. A danger that will call on Dory’s every reserve of courage if she’s to free her mother, and maybe in doing so, to free herself.
This is a great book – it is one of those I read off the back of many conversations with the author on Twitter and it has to be said I’ve had some great reads that would not otherwise have been on my radar without that particular social media black hole and I’m glad I did not miss out on this one.
Vida is suffering a mystery illness and reluctantly her daughter returns to sit vigil – however there is more going on all round than meets the eye and Dory finds herself on a dark path..
This is a compelling, beautifully written story that may defy expectation – the author has a way of sucking you in with really quite gentle prose that is still unsettling and atmospheric. As Dory arrives at a place she does not want to be and finds somebody there who might help make it easier, from the start you are aware that there is something lurking just beneath the surface..it is a cleverly woven web indeed.
It is really quite gripping – I’m loathe to give anything away as most things I could say might necessarily spoil the reasons that this novel is so very good – but one thing I can say quite easily is it is one of those character driven psychological thrillers with a hint of something “other” that might well have you looking nervously over your shoulder.
The themes of dysfunctional family and mental illness are running through the narrative, the descriptive prose when it comes to setting is really very excellent. It is at turns surprising and creepy, with a touch of humour thrown in for good measure upon occasion.
If you are looking for something a little different to offset all the grip lit (yes I’m using that term now since I saw it the other day, I mean why not?) this is one I would definitely recommend. The Testament of Vida Tremayne is very much its own thing, a little gem that waits to be discovered.
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Happy Reading Folks!