Cover Image: The Cherry Robbers

The Cherry Robbers

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Member Reviews

Calling out all the fans of Shirley Jackson, this book will quench your thirst for a creepy gothic thriller with an emphasis on loneliness and what grief can do to us
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A gothic, ghost story full of impending doom.

The Cherry Robbers follows the curse of a wealthy firearms family and the woman who would do anything to escape. 

I really enjoyed this book, from the easy to read writing style and beautiful cover through to the never ending twists and turns. The story moves quickly enough to keep you hooked, but you still find a way to really get attached to the main characters.
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The Cherry Robbers was a very different read for me and I didn’t know what to expect. 

If you love books with detailed character development, you’ll love this. The Cherry Robbers is written from the perspective of Iris Chapel, the fifth of six Chapel sisters haunted by a mysterious curse. The book follows Iris’ life until 20 and then picks up when she is 80 reflecting on her younger self. 

The premise and plot is super compelling and while the end seems to abruptly cut off, I didn’t mind.
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I received an ARC from the publisher. This was a haunting family drama with a feminist lens. I adored the main character Iris and there was this level of sadness and vulnerability where I just wanted to give her a hug. Iris is one of the heirs to a firearms dynasty and her mother is haunted by the victims of the guns sold by family’s company. And each of Iris’s sisters are cursed shortly after falling in love. The book covered many relevant themes of mental health and a woman’s role and standing in society. I loved the atmosphere created in book, the vulnerability of Iris shined through. This will also be a great book to read on a warm summer day. You just want to cheer for Iris and see her breakthrough all of the limitations placed on her. 

I did feel like the books was a little lengthy and was at times the same tone and was a little one note. There were certain elements of the book that I felt were brushed over or was not explained all the way and left me with more questions. 

If you love feminist ghost stories with an endearing protagonist then the Cherry Robbers will be the perfect book for you.
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"Our maternal lineage is like a necklace wrapped so tightly around our necks that we can't breathe." I liked The Cherry Robbers more than I thought I would, considering it's not my normal sort of book. The feminist overtones of this gothic ghost story helped me find it engaging. The story is set in the 1950s inside a grand wedding cake house: "its cascading tiers and ornamental details, looked as if it were piped with white icing." It's the tale of six sisters, told from the perspective of Iris Chapel, who was the fifth daughter to be born.

"If i mixed a palette for June 1950, I'd start with vermilion, then add hematite, then a deep russet brown, the shades of my cotton pad the filter of my memory." Ostensibly a tale about a haunted/mad mother's influence on her brood, The Cherry Robbers interrogates feminism, class, sex and sexuality with a 1950s lens and a narrator who is herself coming of age. Iris is heavily connected to and influenced by her older sisters: "They were mesmerizing to look at, the four of them languid and beautiful, like swans in a marsh." Iris is also a budding artist, so this book is also about women's art, particularly abstract expressionist art, in the 1950s and beyond.

It's well-written and likely to appeal to anyone interested in women's lives. You'll like it if you liked The Virgin Suicides.
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This book combines two of my favorite themes- Gothic vibes and family drama. Brace yourself for a twisted, spooky, atmospheric page turner.  Well written and evenly paced, this novel delivers on paranormal spooks with an immersive cast of characters. Overall a solid read and a good time.
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Do not be fooled by the cover, you're in for an amazing ghost story. This book is a gothic tale about six sisters that guarantees to make you scared. It's gripping and unique!
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Creepy read about a group of sister from New England in the 1950's. They are extremely close, raised by a Mother who sees ghosts and has given up doing anything for her daughters and a Father who works all the time. The oldest one gets marries and starts a chain of events that is summed up int he rhymes the village children begin singing: "First the Chapel girls get married, then they get buried". One by one, the girls die after marrying, and its get creepier and creepier as they face they fates or try to run from did Iris Chapel, who runs away to become a different person, Sylvia Wren, an artist in New Mexico. Now years later, Sylvia/Iris begins to think about her early life and writes her story in a series of diaries. I had a hard time putting this book down! Flew through it in 2 days!
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WOAH! WOAH! That was my response nearly throughout the book. Yes, with all the twists, turns & brutal incidents said in the fiction, I simply couldn't control my reactions after reading it & being shocked. I headed blindly into this tale after being captivated by the cover & the book's title. Furthermore, glancing at the pages, I felt I would DNF the book midway; in fact, I was really consuming page after page swiftly. I have never read gothic novels & I, for sure, am taking up on this genre more in 2022.

I would like to suggest this book to all gothic thriller lovers. You won't be dissatisfied by Sarai's female-centric narrative describing the vast sentiments of loneliness & despair. It even releases the raw emotions inside you, causing you to sense the uneasiness felt by the protagonist. The writer made sure that I was consistently on my toes, guessing what was proceeding & not stopping one bit.

I desire to thank NetGalley, the publisher & author, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. I am leaving my review willingly.
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Another stellar read by Sarai Walker.  This gothic tale of six doomed sisters and their battle with death and rebirth is thoroughly engrossing and deeply moving.
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Another reviewer called this an "odd but strangely compelling read" and I can't think of a better way to describe The Cherry Robbers so I'm stealing it.

This was described as a gothic novel, and while I think that's most fitting, it doesn't neatly fit into that category. There are ghosts and supernatural elements at play, but it's a matter of opinion whether those are real or imagined. The book explores themes like feminism, grief, and societal norms. 

The writing and character building were superb. It would be easy to not get attached to characters that you know from the beginning are going to die, but I was drawn to this family and each of the six sisters, who the author managed to make distinct. I could not put it down and would recommend to others, especially to those who might be looking for something a little different from the norm.
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A breathtaking and magical tale of madness set in Connecticut at the beginning of the 1950s, the sad but bewitching story of an accursed sisterhood and its rather dangerous and deadly  relationship with men, marriage, first sexual intercourse and the loss of one's hymen. I read this magnificent novel three times since September and I'm still struggling to really express my feelings about its astonishing scope and ethereal beauty. An old fashioned tale of darkly Gothic shenanigans set at the beginning of McCarthyism and its lugubrious intentions, a courageous and vociferous denunciation of male violent  dominance over women, a cry from the heart when confronted to the appalling conditions of women's rights after WWII in America... this mesmerising tale brings so many issues to the forefront that I'm still convinced that I will have to read it once again.....Brilliantly plotted with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, this beautiful & incredible novel is an exquisitely & vividly woven 
fictional tapestry that very often  reminded me of the magically incandescent prose of Garcia Marquez....

An fantastic accomplishment that should definitely raise more than a few highbrows next Spring and an American literary treat that deserves to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever! 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this terrific ARC.
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I had a tough time with this one. I absolutely loved the writing, the atmosphere, the gothic story and mysteries surrounding Chapel family and sisters. Really, it held me for about 75% of the book and then it get going and going. If this book stopped about 150 pages earlier this would be a 5 star book. I'm hoping for more from Sarai Walker, this was a fun read.
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The storyline and plot for this book was really interesting and engaging. The whole premise is a family curse one of the Iris sisters is trying to outrun. It is described as a "gothic ghost story with a fiery feminist zeal" and I totally agree. The story had a lot of information thrown at you, but it never felt too much/overhwelming. I also really enjoyed Sarai Walker's writing and setup for the story. This is my first book by her and I will definitely be picking up more in the near future. All in all, I thought this was a well-rounded book that everyone should try out for themselves and enjoy.
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What a wildly fascinating book from an author whose second book I've been waiting on for years! Sarah Walker is an incredible writer; her debut DIETLAND has stayed with me since I read it back in 2016 so when I saw she had a new one coming out next year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. THE CHERRY ROBBERS is not exactly what I was expecting, but it did not disappoint. The book is framed around an artist, Sylvia Wren, who is writing her memoirs in 2017 and focusing on her 5 sisters who all mysteriously died back in the 1950s. Most of the book takes place during this time frame as we watch the sisters, one by one, get married and then die. It's puzzling, and not as straight-forward as you may think, which lends to endless page-turning. I certainly got gothic vibes from this one, and it reminded me a lot of PRACTICAL MAGIC (but a bit darker). 

I really enjoyed this journey and I can't wait until it's released next year because I think it's going to make a splash. It is clear that Walker is a meticulous and driven author, as both of her books are so unique and full and completely different. I will read anything she writes going forward because her voice is singular and her ideas are big. All of the allegories and metaphors and literary and artistic references in this book are delightful and if you are an art history person, this is a must-read. The idea to frame the story around a family full of heiresses to a firearm fortune in a Victorian mansion is sharp and poignant, and while some of the feminist undertones may be a bit heavy-handed, this is still a work of genius.
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The writing is beautiful, but I just really couldn’t get into it. I didn’t find myself liking the characters very much. However I see how lots of other people might enjoy this book and I would still recommend it to specific people. I might try again to read it in a few months…maybe it is just me.

Thank you to netgally, the author, and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was my first book to read by this author but I cannot wait to read more! The characters stay with you long after you finish the book. Such a great story and fast read. Highly recommend!!!
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Wow.  I'm not sure I was prepared for this book.  I went into the book mostly blind, and not knowing what awaited me.  I was in for a pleasant surprise!  A gothic fiction is outside of my normal genre, but man.... I was in it 100 percent for this one!

A story about a firearms dynasty and the family that ultimately paid the price for its destruction.  Six girls, sisters with a Father who was always at work and a Mother who never wanted to be married or a mother.  Luckily they had each other, and they made the most of it.  Paired off by age in groups of 2, the girls lived a privileged life that was very different from others of that time.  They kept to themselves as their parents wanted no part of society.   Their mother, Belinda, had battled her demons since her mother died during childbirth.  As no one would question, each girl dreamed of the day she would be able to live her own life, away from their mad mother and a world with no outside social interaction.  

Once the girls find love, a kind of curse is unveiled.  Belinda has foreseen "that bad things will happen".  As the story unfolded, I was utterly captivated.  What, what, what in the heck was going to happen next?  Was this curse real?  When would it stop?  Was anyone immune?  Each of the daughters were well developed.  Each had her own strengths and weaknesses and I felt a tug towards each one.  The story of their ultimate demise is told through the voice of Iris, the fifth daughter, who is the only one to avoid the curse and who goes on to life outside of the family home.  She left the world of Iris behind and became Sylvia Wren.  A successful and well-renowned artist at the age of 80, she receives a letter informing her that her hidden identity has been discovered.  She relives the tragedies, the grief, and memories of the life she thought she left behind.

The story visits themes of family, feminism, sexuality, grief and expectations.  Although many questions go unanswered, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction.  The truth will never truly be known.  I was surprised at how vested I was in this story.  I finished this book in two days, not being able to put it down for long.  That is the mark of a great author - these characters and this story had me wanting more at every chapter.

An odd but strangely compelling read.  My heart was racing as I read on.  I definitely recommend this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and Mariner Books for this arc to read and review.
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Not my usual read, but I was pleasantly surprised! I enjoyed the pacing as well!  Gothic is such a hit or miss sometimes, but Sarai does a good job creating that feel.
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Enchantingly frightening. A Gothic delight!

This story is told through the lens of successful artist, and renound recluse, Sylvia Wren. From her sanctuary in New Mexico, Sylvia is forced to revisit her past and who she used to be.

She recounts her enchanting childhood living in a grand house with her father, five sisters and Balinda. The reader is introduced to a life so charmed in appearance, and so haunted in experience.

As descendents of the Chaple Firearms fortune, and kept in style by its money, Belinda has a premonition of catastrophe be falling her garden of daughters. Due to her reputation of being "mentally ill" and "insane," Belinda's warnings go unheaded. And one by one the flowers fade, unable to escape their calamitous fate.

This was a wonderful spooky read. All the components of a Gothic classic, with a wonderfully vintage back drop, and in the center a look at coming of age and into ones own womanhood, and how those can be different things.

I immensely enjoyed this novel. I both wanted to visit the Chapel sisters in "the girl's wing", and wanted to rescue them from their impending doom. The haunted characters and an inability to outrun the past make this a book you need to see through to the very last encounter.
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