Caitlin, a rich heiress and owner of a truly extravagant renovated mansion seems to have it all. Sadly, she also has a cheating husband.
Caitlin’s rage at his betrayal invokes an old power lying beneath the house – a lethal power that seizes on her revenge for its own deadly purpose
It’s down to Nova, the daughter of Caitlin’s groundskeeper and Blake, her estranged best friends, to get to the bottom of the mystery and find out what it is she has invoked.
The atmosphere of the book is excellent. This is a horror novel and it brings the creepy – and a whole lot of mystery. There is a lot of tension in the book from almost the beginning and there is no scrimping on the horror. A lot of this comes from the unknown – because the Vines quickly become more and more complicated than simple angry, vengeance seeking plants which continues to add to the tension and the unknown. Every time I thought I knew how this worked, every time I thought that I would know who was at risk or not the rules changed, we had some more revealed and the threat became more universal again. The ground kept shifting, the mystery kept growing, the creepiness was always maintained
The language also hit the right balance. It was elaborate and gothic and descriptive – juuuuust edging towards being overly descriptive and overly flowery – but then pulling back from the edge. It held on the cusp of being just a bit too much for most of the book, instead adding really nicely to the atmosphere of it.
However, elaborate language, hefty description coupled with a shifting deep mystery meant there were times when I was lost and trying to figure out where we were going, what was happening and why because everything just kind of stumbled into confusion for a bit in the middle and towards the end.
It also has a revenge plot and raises the issue of both what will you sacrifice for revenge and what revenge makes you, as a person. It’s interesting and knotty
I was really pleasantly surprised by how this book presented the setting – and I don’t mean the magic. This book is set in a very wealthy, restored plantation house outside of Louisiana, with some delving into the past. A lot of books set in this time and place have a… overly romanticised view of the setting. I’ve seen far too many happy-Black-slaves and devoted Black servants just falling over themselves to serve the rich White family they adore so.
This was not that book. The rich, restored plantation was not allowed to escape its history even while it was clear the white owner and tourists very much preferred it that way (and how the whole building’s tourism was based around romanticising that history). It was an excellent depiction that wonderfully skewered the romanticism we see far too often.