I just finished this novel that I couldn't put down. I purchased it through Amazon's First Read's program (Prime Members can download two free first reads a month), and I'm so happy that I did. If you enjoy well-written historical novels with a dark side - this one is for you. Here is more about the novel and my review.
Miramont Castle, built in 1897 and mysteriously abandoned three years later, is home to many secrets. Only one person knows the truth: Adrienne Beauvier, granddaughter of the Comte de Challembelles and cousin to the man who built the castle.
Clairvoyant from the time she could talk, Adrienne’s visions show her the secrets of those around her. When her visions begin to reveal dark mysteries of her own aristocratic French family, Adrienne is confronted by her formidable Aunt Marie, who is determined to keep the young woman silent at any cost. Marie wrenches Adrienne from her home in France and takes her to America, to Miramont Castle, where she keeps the girl isolated and imprisoned. Surrounded by eerie premonitions, Adrienne is locked in a life-or-death struggle to learn the truth and escape her torment.
Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this hauntingly atmospheric tale is inspired by historical research into the real-life Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado
(This novel is currently in pre-order.)
My 4-Star Review:
I love a good ghost story, especially set in the early 1900s, so this novel attracted me right away. Castles, ghosts, and damsels in distress—what more could you want? But I found that this novel was much more than I'd originally expected.
Miramont's Ghost is based on a true story and is a mixture of truth and fiction. I love it when an author takes a story or myth and creates a novel around it. Author Elizabeth Hall is definitely a talented writer whose words flow across the page. I love how she wrote this story with an old-style flair—like you'd read in novels such as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. There is plenty of flowery prose and description. While some today find that tiring, I actually enjoy it. She described the characters to perfection, so you could visualize them as if in a movie. She definitely hooked me in and kept me reading, even when the story began to turn darker and darker. I had to read to the end to see what happened.
Many reviewers have complained about the end of this novel, but I don't think they have taken into account that this is based on a true story—so it really did have to end the way it did. You can't conjure up a happily ever after if it isn't supposed to be that way. Therefore, even though I wasn't a fan on how the story progressed, I understood that it needed to conclude the way it did. And actually, I did like the ending. It was different—and sometimes different is much more interesting.
My only complaint about this novel is that there were too many point of views. Most novels are written in one, two, maybe three POVs. This one gave you the POV of practically every character, and often in the same paragraph. It is confusing to the reader because you have to keep track of who is talking or thinking. I believe this story could have been written entirely in the main character's, Adrienne's, POV. With a little creativity, we'd have still understood what the other characters were thinking by their reactions or conversations. Overall, though, I did enjoy this novel.
As of today, Miramont's Ghost is #1 on Amazon overall. I really enjoyed it - I hope you do, too.