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Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: 'Beneath the Shadows'

By Sara Foster
Gothic fiction
June 2012
Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-0312643362                                                                    

Grace agrees to go to a remote Yorkshire cottage with her beloved husband and new baby. The home belonged to Adam's late grandparents and he lived with them for a spell. One day, Adam takes the baby out for a stroll. Millie, safely in her stroller, is found on the cottage doorstep hours later. Adam is not seen again.

Nearly a year later, Grace returns to the cottage to pack things up and see if she can find any traces of Adam. Members of the most established family in the dying village have been taking care of the cottage and invite Grace into their circle. A stranger to town overhears her talk about fixing the place up for sale and she hires him on the spot. Grace's city-wise sister, an old platonic friend, a grandfather clock that seems to stop and start at will and a ghostie who only appears to children in the big house also keep Grace from feeling too lonely out on the moor.

Sara Foster has written an atmospheric, old-fashioned Gothic with homage paid to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, which the heroine is reading. The challenge in writing such a story is to be true to the formula while keeping the heroine from any obvious "Had I but known" moments or from acting TSTL (Too Stupid to Live). Foster has avoided those pitfalls. The atmosphere and secondary characters add to the enjoyment of sinking back into a story in which tradition in the setting and tradition in the way in which the story is told can be enjoyed.

©2012 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reposted with permission

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