on 6 January 2014
In true Lefanu style, this book is a slow starter with a gentle drip-drip of suspicion that all is not happy in the world of Maud Vernon. You might be mistaken in thinking that for at least the first half of the book you are reading a book on Victorian manners - there are many characters and many dinner parties which seem innocuous at the time, and I wondered where it was all going, although I did enjoy the insight into that period. However, as the story progresses, the conversations we are made privy to at these parties start to suggest something bubbling under the surface, and when that bubble finally surfaces the book becomes totally gripping as you whirl through the terrors that Maud experiences. I give no plot away at all, the shock of finally realising what was going on (and why) was quite thrilling! Do not be mis-led by that gentle first half - it's very slowness makes the contrast with the second half all the more startling.