- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 828 KB
- Print Length: 290 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FJ433QK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 85 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #122,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£7.99|
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The Room Beyond Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
If this had been written with a heavier hand then it could so easily have lapsed into pastiche or parody, but author Stephanie Elmas plays it damn-near perfectly. The creaking, dusty, dank old houses are full of peculiar paintings, hidden chambers and confusing corridors. The extended family members are by turns beguiling and ominous. And the two stories reflect and tangle their paired narratives together until they unmistakably become one tale; of misery, mystery, corruption, insanity and the supernatural.
TRB get a lot of coverage as ‘historical Victorian romance’. That label probably would have stopped me reading it, but happily I downloaded it without noticing that I’d somehow been suckered into reading a ‘romance’!
It's a very satisfying tale, one which concluded neatly and tied up an intense knot of relationships and dangling threads.
I notice that she is now starting on a story revolving around one of the main characters in this book, Walter Balanchine, who appeared as very colourful person and I will look out for this in the future.
The blurb introduces Serena who is on her way to a job interview at Marguerite Avenue for a nannying position, and also introduces the time shift to another family from the late 1800s. It's clear the book's going to be full of mystery with supernatural going-ons. The blurb is enticing and I'm looking forward to reading.
In the 'look inside' the story begins straight away. There aren't any dedications or TOC to wade through. I like that.
The Room Beyond moves between two time periods (present day and 1892-early 1900s) but both are centred on Marguerite Avenue. It's atmospheric, but the characters were all alike, even characters from the different times, and I had problem knowing who was talking or whose POV I was reading from. Neither era stood out, although the flowery prose and the haunting way the story is told kept you suspecting something big was about to happen urged you to keep reading.
I found Serena's story easier to follow because there was just the one point of view, but I found it hard to identify with her...I still didn't know her even by the end of the book. Why did she want a nannying job? Had she been looking before she went to this interview? She wasn't qualified, so why was the job offered to her? And why did she accept the job when it's obvious the family didn't want her there? Neither could I understand why Serena fell in love, and into bed, with Seb so fast. There was no passion between them. There were many unanswered questions, I felt.
And Beth, four-year-old Beth is unbelievable. No child of those tender years would act or speak the way she does: on Eva who was discussing which university she would get into with her grades, young Beth replied: 'What about Cambridge?' A simple question, but she is four years old. And there were lots of incidents with actions that, even though it was pointed out often that "Beth wasn't a normal child", still didn't ring true.
When the book went back to 1892 the story was almost impossible to follow because of all the characters pushing for centre stage. Many times I had to scroll back wondering if I'd missed something.
In this part of the book we have four major characters: Lucinda, Alfonso, Tristan and Miranda. Lucinda's husband has left her for another woman. Lucinda takes Tristan for a lover. Tristan is married to Miranda. I felt this story could have been a book on its own. I LOVED the character Miranda, disliked selfish and flighty Lucinda and the nasty Tristan. I really wanted a HEA with this story but the author turned the tragedy into a horrorfest.
It was a sad, tragic, tale although I wasn't sure if the paranormal activity from Tristan (after he'd died) was real or just the work of Miranda's imagination.
True, it wasn't an easy read and some of the writing was so over-the-top I threw it down many times in disgust, but somehow I needed to keep with it to find out what happens at the end. It's probably the type of book you'd want to read again and then come away with another perspective.
The ending was a surprise, and one I didn't see, but when it came things slid into place a little better. The Victorian story HAD to end the way it did, I see that now, and I'm glad the present-day had a HEA (of a sort).
Editing problems such as missing or wrong punctuation, over-writing (lots of it) and unneeded characters cluttered the book, which added to the problem of a disjointed story line.
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