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The Room Beyond by [Elmas, Stephanie]
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The Room Beyond Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 816 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FJ433QK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,975 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This creepy little mystery maintains almost all of the grand traditions of the Victorian gothic ghost story. It’s set in modern times, with a parallel tale harking back more than a century to an earlier era. In the here-and-now, an eccentric wealthy family hire a troubled young woman to be a nanny / companion for the oddly precocious child of the household. No sooner does our heroine arrive at the tall townhouse in achingly fashionable Kensington, than weird things start occurring all around…

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.

8/10
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I also was asked to review this book by the author and I have to say I found it a very enjoyable read. Although I felt at times the language was somewhat flowery, I soon fell into step as the book progressed and I thought it an unusual ghost story. The story is interwoven between Victorian times and the present day and have to say I enjoyed the Victorian storyline more, although I didn't wholly engage with all of her characters - both present and past. Ms Elmas has referred to being influenced by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (who wrote Lady Audley's Secret ) and I think she has paid homage to her admirably.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting cover: a key among raining jasmine. The key wasn't shiny or small and together with the exaggerated ROOM in the title it made me think of a house. A sinister house. The flowers added a sadness to the title. It made me think of Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book that is fully capable of sucking you in from the moment you read the first page and start to learn about the characters. We start off with Serena, a young artist who takes on a job as a nanny to support herself, and learn about the eccentric family that she's working with - and the enigmatic Sebastian, who draws her attention from the start.

Then the story leaps back in time, to the 1800's - to Miranda, the young, meek and unassuming new bride of Tristan and Lucinda, two women who revolve around one man, Tristan Whitehouse. We also meet Lucinda - the beautiful, captivating neighbour who Miranda is sure she has to keep away from her husband.

If it sounds like the start of a typical romance, don't be fooled - there is much, much more to this book, and it's truly fascinating and dark, touching on a hint of horror and supernatural throughout the course of the book. The tone builds up steadily throughout the reading, as the reader starts to learn about the stain that taints both worlds - a touch of madness, all circling around a house that seemingly doesn't exist.

The writing throughout is incredibly descriptive, truly a delight to read - how can you not be delighted, with phrases like this?

"Outside thunder clouds had moved in, tinged blue and black like bruises punched into the sky."

This sort of description is sprinkled liberally throughout, but not so much that I found it purple-prosey, or too much - it just adds to the feeling of the book, lush and dark.
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