Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Fate of Mercy Alban - Wendy Webb

I've always loved creaky old houses and  dusty attics - I sit and wonder about who once lived there and what their life was like.

Wendy Webb gives free rein to her imagination in her latest book The Fate of Mercy Alban.

When her mother dies, Grace Alban and her daughter Amity return to the family estate on Lake Superior. The faithful family staff are still in situ - Jane, her husband and a driver. They've been there from the beginning - bearing witness to the lives of the wealthy and influential Alban family.  And they've been there for the tragedies too - the family seems to have more than their share of heartbreak. Is is just bad luck or is there some truth behind the whispers of a family curse? "...accidents, death, scandal, and even murder have taken place in the house over the years."

Grace herself has stayed away for over twenty years- a response to a tragedy that is slowly unveiled over many chapters. While sorting through her mother's papers, she comes across a packet of letters that challenge everything she thought she knew about her parents - and revives her interest in a night that the Alban family has kept shrouded in mystery for decades. But some secrets don't want to see the light of day......

Webb has crafted a modern take on a classic genre - the Gothic ghost story. Family secrets, haunted houses, family curses with a little witchcraft thrown in as well. Webb's plotting is intricate and keeps us guessing with many red herrings and switchbacks on the way.  For me, The Fate of Mercy Alban was plot driven. I was much more interested in where Webb was going to take her story than the characters. Although all the right elements are in place, I didn't really ever engage with Grace.

I enjoyed the book within a book technique that allowed us to learn secrets of the past along with Grace.

This was a fun read for me, not overly scary, but definitely entertaining. I really like the cover art and once you read the book, you realize the title is quite clever as well. What did I love the most? The house - I want to explore all those hidden passages and back staircases to unused rooms.......Read an excerpt of The Fate of Mercy Alban. Also chosen as a February 2013 Indie Next List Great Read. You cand find Wendy Webb on Twitter and on Facebook.

1 comment:

Kimberlee said...

Oh this one sounds good!! I'm off to see if the local library has this one.