Title: Begars Abbey
Author: V. L. Valentine
Genre: Gothic Fiction
Publication Date: 28th April 2022
A dark house filled with darker secrets…
Winter 1954, and in a dilapidated apartment in Brooklyn, Sam Cooper realises that she has nothing left. Her mother is dead, she has no prospects, and she cannot afford the rent. But as she goes through her mother’s things, Sam finds a stack of hidden letters that reveal a family and an inheritance that she never knew she had, three thousand miles away in Yorkshire.
Begars Abbey is a crumbling pile, inhabited only by Lady Cooper, Sam’s ailing grandmother, and a handful of servants. Sam cannot understand why her mother kept its very existence a secret, but her newly discovered diaries offer a glimpse of a young girl growing increasingly terrified. As is Sam herself.
Built on the foundations of an old convent, Begars moves and sings with the biting wind. Her grandmother cannot speak, and a shadowy woman moves along the corridors at night. There are dark places in the hidden tunnels beneath Begars. And they will not give up their secrets easily…
I’m a sucker for a good piece of gothic fiction so Begars Abbey appealed to me immediately and happily I can say it totally lived up to my high expectations! The story follows Sam, a young woman from Brooklyn who, after her mother dies, uncovers a secret kept from her since birth. Sam travels to Yorkshire to the crumbling and slightly menacing Begars Abbey, where her mother grew up and where Sam’s infirm grandmother lives. However, Sam’s discovery of a family and a home she knew nothing about is not quite what it seems. Begars Abbey is full of shadows and secrets and Sam finds herself in an increasingly sinister situation.
Begars Abbey is absolutely steeped in darkness and a foreboding tension which worms its way under the skin of the reader perfectly! It reminded me a little of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier which is a compliment of the highest regard. The writing evokes classic 19th century horror novels and yet simultaneously also feels incredibly timely. I loved the sense of never being entirely sure of what was real and what was potentially supernatural. I don’t want to give anything away about the plot as it unfolds in such a compelling way but if you are looking for a truly gothic mystery with a sinister and uneasy atmosphere I would highly recommend this wonderful book!
I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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