The past holds terrors…
There are secrets buried at Maidenwood–dark secrets that span generations. Medical student Julie Newcomb, who once spent four miserable childhood years at this rundown Virginia plantation, would rather not resurrect ancient memories, or face her own fear.
That can’ t be forgotten
Yet Julie cannot refuse her relatives’ plea that she spend her summer caring for the bedridden–but still malevolent–family patriarch. Reluctantly, Julie agrees, praying that life at Maidenwood will not be as bleak as before. From the first, though, Julie finds Maidenwood a haunted place, not merely echoing with grim reminders, but filled with dark secrets that will become part of her life even today.
When I started this book I did not expect to get so caught up in it that I needed to get it finished right away. I thought it would be a nice leisurely read over several days. I was wrong…again. Seems like I have to admit that a lot.
It is a sad tale of family violence all with the aim of keeping ones name in the right genteel circles and free of blemish. The plantation of Maidenwood sounded so beautiful – I would have restored it had I inherited such a lovely old Victorian. However it was falling down around the people who lived there and the repairs were out of the question.
Martha, the family patriarch, is a devil of a woman who loves to pit family against each other – even after her stroke. She is deceitful, vengeful, and just plain mean. I had to like her. 🙂 The woman was hell on two feet though and terrorized Julie during the four years she had to live with her grandmother growing up. I had to hate her too. What a horrid little woman she was. Michaels does an excellent job of making you pity her but yet despise her too.
Julie wants to have the strength to stand up to the woman but finds it difficult as memories of the things Martha did to her come flooding back a little at a time. Smart and successful, she is everything Martha hates. Women were to be ladies and not do menial labor – especially one from such a well-respected family.
I knew right away what was going on – who the mystery person was and what terrible secret they were hiding. Still, the book held me in its clutches. I finally managed to go to sleep earlier but it was on my mind so it influenced my dreams. When I did get up after four hours, I was determined to wait until later to finish it. However, I had a twenty minute wait between ordering Chinese food and being able to pick it up so what was I supposed to do?
The book was very good – I enjoyed it immensely and it totally makes up for the last one that I thought wasn’t up to Michaels standards. I give the book an A. Read it if you like stories of family tragedy, coverups, ghosts, and digging for the truth – it is worth it.