Readers enamored with the Salem witch trials or novels of women forging their own way against all odds will love the latest offering from Hester Fox. The Witch of Willow Hall is equal parts ghost, love, and coming of age story. Lydia Montrose, the middle sister in a family plagued by scandal, captivates and intrigues as the book unfolds.
Having moved to the countryside after rumors swirled around the Montrose family in Boston, Lydia and her sisters Catherine and Emeline, attempt to adjust to a slower and more dreamlike pace. Catherine is beautiful, impetuous, and dramatic while the youngest, Emeline, is full of wonder and fantasy. It is Lydia who feels the need to keep up appearances, to be the reliable daughter in a house with little parental strength. Their mother is weak, their father often absent, and in the midst of all this, their father’s young business partner, the handsome and enigmatic John Barrett, appears.
The story of Willow Hall, the estate on which the Montrose family lives, is connected to the Barrett family in dark and mysterious ways, and the potential haunting of the place—real or imagined—drives the novel towards its satisfying and surprising conclusion.
Reviewed By: Shannon Carriger