Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Vanishing - Wendy Webb - Review AND Giveaway

I love creaky old houses, dusty attics and ghost stories. So does Wendy Webb. She's taken on the modern Gothic in her last two novels and again with her latest book, The Vanishing.

Webb sets the stage with a prologue from 1875 - a seance gone horribly wrong in the mansion known as Havenwood.

Present day. Julia Bishop's life is a mess. Her husband has died - but not before he swindled hundreds of people of their savings. He's gone, the money is gone and any friends Julia had are gone. She has no family either. So, when a stranger shows up offering her a job as a companion to his reclusive mother, she has nothing left to lose by saying yes. He's offering her the opportunity to start again and completely vanish from her current life. Oh, the job just happens to be at Havenwood....

Now, there's nothing better than immersing yourself in a spooky tale on a cold winter's night. So, although I found the premise a little bit flimsy and questioned some of Julia's actions,  I just went with it. Because, I really wanted to see what secrets the mansion held. What happened there in 1875? Why has Julia been sought out as a companion? Where would Webb take her story from this beginning?

I had great fun imagining walking through the many wings of Havenwood - the library particularly caught me! All the hallmarks of a great ghost story are here - mysterious family matriarch, son who travels a lot but discourages others from leaving the estate, handsome stable hand, a wonderful set of dogs who can sense things not seen and more.

While not overly frightening, The Vanishing was a lovely, atmospheric read for a miserable day. (The power goes out during a snowstorm at the mansion. This actually happened at my house that day as well!) Webb throws in a delicious twist at the end that was perfect.

Read an excerpt of The Vanishing. You can find Wendy Webb on Facebook and on Twitter.

And thanks to the great folks at Hyperion Books, I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment to be entered. U.S. only, no PO boxes please. Ends Feb 15/14.

15 comments:

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmy!

:-)

Thank you.

bermudaonion said...

This does sound perfect for a cold winter's day. Thanks for the giveaway!

rubynreba said...

Havenwood sounds like a mysterious place! Love these kind of books.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Amanda West said...

Thanks for the chance!
amandarwest atgmaildotcom

petite said...

A great giveaway. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Sounds captivating. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a great book!

kimbers10(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kirsten said...

This one sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway!
kessna6(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan O said...

I read The Tale of Halcyon Crane a few years ago, and loved it. The Vanishing is now on my wish list for sure! Wendy Webb is a great writer.

anovelreview-Laura Kay said...

I've had The Vanishing in my wishlist for a few weeks and now that I'm getting to read blogger reviews I want it even more! Thanks did the chance

Maureen said...

I do enjoy Gothic stories.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Carl Scott said...

Sounds great, thanks for the heads-up. Who doesn't love a little modern Gothic? carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Karen B said...

Sounds frightfully good for a cold MN read! :)

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Sue Farrell said...

I grew up loving gothics so I must try this one. I think it will be a good read for a day curled up with a blanket it my big easy chair.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Mona said...

I love spooky/gothic novels. There's nothing like curling up with a good book and a hot drink on a chilly day.

Thanks :)
monagargATyahooDOTcom