The widow's house

Carol Goodman

Book - 2017

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FICTION/Goodman Carol
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Suspense fiction
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2017]
Main Author
Carol Goodman (author)
First edition
Item Description
Includes a reading group guide.
Physical Description
333, 6 pages ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

You can use your imagination or it will use you. Sound advice for a writer, although in other ways all too true for Goodman's lead character. To repair their financially strained and emotionally stressed marriage, Jess and Clare Martin decide to move to the country, becoming caretakers at the moldering old mansion of their former writing professor and Jess' mentor, Alden Montague. For Clare, it is a return home, where everyone, some enviously, remembers her early academic success. Although Jess made a flashy literary debut, earning a large advance for a second book not yet written, she had given up her own promising writing career. Both find new inspiration at Riven House, Clare's stirred by the cries of a forlorn baby, a ghostly apparition from the past, flashes of jealousy, and bitterness over a lost pregnancy. Has creativity actually been stimulated, or is imagination taking a toll? The author of River Road (2016) weaves a touch of Rebecca into her newest psychological thriller, and fans may see comparisons to A. S. A. Harrison's The Silent Wife (2013).--Lockley, Lucy Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Clare Martin, the narrator of this gripping read from Hammett Prize winner Goodman (River Road), and her husband, Jess, sell their twice-mortgaged Brooklyn loft and move to Concord, N.Y., where Clare grew up and the couple attended college. They can't afford to buy a home, so they accept jobs as caretakers of River House, their former writing professor's dilapidated mansion. At first, the change in scenery proves beneficial to them both; stalled author Jess begins making progress on his next book, and the estate's blood-soaked history inspires Clare to write a novel of her own. But when Clare starts seeing ghostly figures and hearing cries in the night, readers will be forced to wonder whether River House is actually haunted or Clare is suffering a mental breakdown. Though the story's setting and tone pay homage to such authors as Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the fresh plot and modern characters give this twisty contemporary gothic a timeless feel. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Struggling in a fractured marriage, writers Clare and Jess Martin leave Brooklyn to move back to their college town, where they're hoping to repair their finances, careers, and relationship. Unfortunately, all they can afford in New York's Hudson Valley is a caretaker's position at Riven House, an old family estate that belongs to their former mentor and nemesis Alden Montague. With revelations of twisted family secrets and evidence of specters, eerie sounds, and physical disturbances, the house's haunting seems to be sparked by Clare's presence. But is she truly being haunted, or is her narrative to be trusted? Evocative and resonant references to local folklore and to literature such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher combine with influences from both classic gothic works and domestic suspense novels in Goodman's (River Road) chilling 14th novel. VERDICT Gripping readers with its fast pace, supernatural elements, and a conclusion that will have them questioning what really happened here, this psychological thriller is for admirers of -Barbara Michaels, Kate Morton, or Daphne Du Maurier. [See Prepub Alert, 9/26/16.]-Melanie Kindrachuk, Stratford P.L., Ont. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Hoping to rejuvenate their flagging writing careers, Clare and Jess Martin inadvertently move into a haunted house. Not everyone will survive.Back in college, both Clare and Jess were promising writers who met in the exclusive seminar taught by the enigmatic Alden Montague. Now Clare works as a copy editor to pay the bills, which have piled up since the advance on Jess' secondstill unfinishednovel ran out. Luckily, Montague offers them the position of caretakers at his Hudson River Valley estate, Riven House. But perhaps luck has little to do with the offer. Goodman (River Road, 2016, etc.) brilliantly channels the conventions of the Gothic ghost story. The road to Riven House is as dark, twisted, and broken down as the house itself, an octagonal rarity riddled with water damage, abandoned rooms, and a painted-shut dumbwaiter. Indeed, she has cleverly imbued the very bones of the architecture with allusions to Shirley Jackson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Once ensconced in Riven House, both Jess and Clare begin to write. Inspired by Montague's story of how his great-grandfather broke the heart of the local Apple Blossom Queen, Clare begins to research the legend, discovering uncanny parallels to her own life. Illicit loves, illegitimate births, lost children, mothers driven madthe Montague family's past soon pierces the veil of Clare's life. As the haunting intensifies, Clare sees shadowy women on the edge of the weir, hears invisible babies crying in the wee hours, and peels back layer after layer of identical wallpaper in the nursery. Goodman ratchets up the psychological tension, making Clare question everyone she has ever trusted. Why were her adoptive parents so distant? Why did Jess lie about his job offer back in Brooklyn? Who can be trusted? A spellbinding and delicious ghost story. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.