The Garden of Bewitchment

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Member Reviews

My thanks to Flame Tree Press, Catherine Cavendish, and Netgalley. 
This was a quick read for me. Which means that I really liked it! I've only read one other book by this author, and it was also from Flame Tree. What I'm wondering is where has this author been all my life?
I love the time period, and especially how people back then thought of spinsters.😤😬 How very quaint! 
Catherine writes this time period, and the moors beautifully. 
The ghosts? They were a bit shivery! I have known a few ghosts, and I don't like them! I have even known a few friendly spirits, and I still don't like them! 
The Garden, board game have me the creepy crawlies, and there were a few times when I grew tense. I call it, being on high alert! You know, those moment's where any sound, shadow or movement is bound to make you jump? Yeah, that was me! Funny thing, for a 56 years old woman with aches, pains, bitching and moaning...I can move like a ninja when I'm startled! I was startled once or twice with this book. Those damn snowplows need to call ahead before they start plowing! Terrifying!
Anywho...the Garden was um..a bit weird. Honestly, it was strange enough to give me the sleeping willies! Not quite a nightmare, but just enough to get the brain thinking as you're falling asleep. For me, that's a great recommendation!
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I'm a huge fan of Cat Cavendish and her books. This novel is no exception! She had me turning pages like crazy, wanting to see what was happening next with Evelyn and Claire! Creepy, goth horror, done in a practical, unique and o-so-intriguing way! Loved this novel and will definitely recommend it to my friends!!
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The Queen of Gothic Horror returns with another dark thriller. A cottage in a small town, two quirky spinster sisters, and a whole host of ghosts. Throw in the creepiest board game ever and this becomes a riveting tale with some splendid, surreal, scenes. Catherine has the ability to nail period settings and this book is no exception. Highly recommended.
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This book starts off slow while we are getting to know Claire and Evelyn and the details of their life.  Then the Bronte's are introduced to the story. I am familiar with their lives so i'm not sure how or if this would have a  impact on the story for others. The more you read, the more it becomes clear that Claire is having some problems. she's seeing someone who can not be there. This is the focus of the story for a while then the Garden of Bewitchment shows up. It sounds like it's packaged as a board game but it's really just a table top terrain set up. The ladies quickly realize this is not just a game. There's an Alice in Wonderland like scene with Evelyn that made me feel so panicky and claustrophobic. by 60% in,  the worry for Claire is real. She's missing and is clearly disillusion. 
 For me, the last little bit fell apart. There was so much going on and it seemed to was too much to wrap together nicely.  I really like Catherine Cavendish but this would not be a favorite from her. 

i would like to thank NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Don't play the game. In 1893, Evelyn and Claire leave their home in a Yorkshire town for life in a rural retreat on their beloved moors. But when a strange toy garden mysteriously appears, a chain of increasingly terrifying events is unleashed. Neighbour Matthew Dixon befriends Evelyn, but seems to have more than one secret to hide. Then the horror really begins. The Garden of Bewitchment is all too real and something is threatening the lives and sanity of the women. Evelyn no longer knows who - or what - to believe. And time is running out.
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This is I think the sixth supernatural tale that I have read this year set in Yorkshire. With its remote rural isolated settlements, the bleak and often windswept Pennine moors and the superstitious locals it makes an ideal location for things to occur that are not of this world. Of course when we think of such a dramatic setting one invariably thinks of the Bronte's and indeed Branwell Bronte's ghost is an integral part of this wonderfully entertaining and captivating Gothic novel. 

With a style of writing and speech pattern that is authentic for the late Victorian period, Alison Littlewood  has produced a ghostly tale that can rightfully take its place alongside such venerables of this genre produced by the likes of M.R. James, E. Nesbit and Sheridan Le Fanu. The story is set in 1893 and narrates how twin sisters Evelyn and Claire leave their Yorkshire town to take up residency in a rural home situated on the moors.  Soon unexplained things start happening which appear to be related to the appearance of a strange toy garden. The haunted dolls house can be found in several ghost books of this period and like them The Garden of Bewitchment provides a portal to the past and much danger to the present.

Is this the story of insanity with rational explanations or is this really a diabolical and demonic tale of the supernatural? As a lover of the Gothic genre and particularly the supernatural tales of this era I loved this book with all its spookiness and unreasoning.If you are looking for a good chilling read on a dark night then I would recommend this.
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Evelyn and Claire leave the prying eyes of the city for the solitude of the moors, and it is there that they encounter "The Garden of Bewitchment".  If you thought the Ouija board was a dangerous toy, then you have encountered this one.   Could it be coincidence that the one friend Evelyn makes, Matthew, has also had his own frightening experience with this evil game?  Claire doesn't trust Matthew.  Evelyn wants to, but she isn't sure if she can.   The author kept me guessing through the entirety of this book.   Can we trust Matthew?  Is Branwell Bronte's ghost really visiting Claire in the night, and if so...can HE be trusted?  How are Evelyn and Claire seemingly going from their bedroom to the house in garden, or the garden to the moors?  Are they mad or is this real?    The author gives us a nice "oh, dear..." , and "oh....." ending that ties characters together.  This book also peaked my interest in the Bronte' family and in the mystic legend of the tulpa*.   (*For readers that do not know what tulpa is...read this book BEFORE you look it up)

#netgalley #TheGardenOfBewitchment
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