Cover Image: The Cherry Robbers

The Cherry Robbers

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Member Reviews

So after reading the first chapter I wasn't sure I would get into this. However, once it transitioned to Iris'/Sylvia's younger years with her sisters, it drew me in. There were some times that I felt like the author focused too much on the mundane, but the overall story was interesting. I saw at the end that the title was based on a poem (I had wondered throughout the novel where the title had come from) so I looked up the poem online and read it. Admittedly I didn't quite "get" it, but in my opinion I would have rather had a title that related directly to the novel.

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. 
While the story itself can be hard, full of tragic moments, the book itself is beautiful. The prose is very poetic and nice to read.
This book could fit in the thriller category, but I wasn't scared while reading it, it was just perfect to keep me on my toes! 
The main story is set in the 1950's, which was a period full of sexism, but this book manages to tell a story about girls and women living in this period, without being sexist.
I couldn't put this book down!
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All the ghosts, disturbed people with macabre histories, and general overall creepiness in this novel are a pretty significant detour from the memoirs and literary fiction I usually read, but all the angst and family drama--I'm here for it. Glad I read this one.
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"The Cherry Robbers" was simply mesmerizing. I loved every single second of it. The writing is beautiful and the descriptions are so vivid, Sarai Walker plays with the senses in a way that makes the reader's imagination go wild. I was so immersed in the world of the Chapel family, I cried, I was angry, I was afraid for the characters. It did remind me of Shirley Jackson's "We Have Always Lived In The Castle", whit an extra touch of the peculiarness of the spiritual/ghostly/intuitive/abstract mind of Iris and her family. This became easily one of my favorite books and I will be so glad to get a copy when it comes out in February.
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Loved the tone of Dietland which led me to request this from NetGalley as soon as I spotted it. It's so different from that book yet equally enthralling. A unique premise, a captivating story, and a genre-bending work overall. Not sure how much additional editing will take place prior to publication, but there were definitely some parts that I found tedious and repetitive. Still, a solid four stars.
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Wow. What an incredible story.  How do I even begin to describe a story that is so horrifying yet unputdownable?Unknown to them the 6 Chapel     sisters are living on borrowed time. Matriarch Belinda is  considered eccentric and outright mad because of her ability to predict things about her daughters. As her predictions come true only second youngest daughter Iris believes her.  Iris realizes she needs to escape from the reality of her life and she does with many obstacles in her path to freedom. There are many themes in this and are written cohesively and balanced so one doesn’t dominate the other. I really enjoyed this.
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This was really, really good. The Cherry Robbers was my first time reading a book by Sarai Walker and I'm very glad I picked it up, because it blew me away.

The reader starts off by knowing exactly how the story of the Chapel family ends: in death. It is 2017, and the lone survivor of that family feels a sudden compulsion to note down in a diary the events of her life, a life she has up till now carefully hidden from public scrutiny. Through her diary, the reader is transported back to 1950, where her story truly begins.

I personally don't like books written in the style of a diary. However, after my initial hesitation, I did start to enjoy it, getting drawn into the horrific events surrounding the Chapels easily. The story was not about mystery, but about suspense and tension: how would the deaths come to pass? How did Iris Chapel, our narrator, manage to survive? All this and more kept me hooked until, and even after, the lives of most Chapels ended.

Although the ending itself was remarkable, the words (and specifically, the punctuation) used to end this book irked me a little. I won't get into the particulars – they're too much of a spoiler – but I will say, very vaguely, that I would have preferred a full stop.

Review to be posted on my blog closer to the publication date.
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The Cherry Robbers by S. Walker, published by Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt, is a story that got to me.
Set in two timelines, it tells the story of two women. Women from a family who're suffering a curse, made a long time ago.
Sylvia, the renowed american artist and Iris who's life is in smalltown Ireland in the 1950ties.
The storyline spans decades, is a gothic ghost story, well written and beautifully told.
A great 4,5 star read.
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Sylvia Wren is a known recluse in the art community and though her paintings are more than well-respected, she’s not interested in the fame that comes along with her work. Sylvia is more interested in hiding who she is and where she came from. There is no Sylvia Wren...but there is Iris Chapel- previous heir to the fortune of Chapel firearms, along with her 5 sisters. Iris grew up with a detached father and seemingly mentally ill mother (Belinda) who claims to see the ghosts of the victims of the Chapel firearms her husband produces. Written off as crazy, when Belinda speaks of a premonition of her eldest daughter’s death following her imminent marriage, only Iris hears truth in her mother’s warnings. The premonition not only proves correct... it happens again. 

This book turned out to be nothing like what I expected in the most delightful way possible. I expected a ghost story, and while there are absolutely horrifying and unsettling moments with supernatural undertones, I think this is actually a story of sisterhood, sexuality, and overall femininity based in the 1950’s when women were demonized for being anything other than docile. Walker’s writing is creepy and gothic but also lovely and educational. By the end, each sister felt like an old friend I used to know and I fell in love with this book.
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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, similar to Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Walker's writing is seductive and would claw at your inner calmness, creating tension inside you, not quite different from what the protagonist Sylvia Wren feels. I was on the edge through most of the book, fighting Sylvia's demons and trying to find answers to questions that are eventually left unanswered, or better said, left to the reader's interpretation. Sylvia Wren, a popular feminist artist, has a dark secret- she is not who she claims to be and has managed to keep her tragic past buried until she is confronted by a sneaky journalist who knows her real identity and wants to brings that out to the public.

There are ghosts in this book but it's onto the readers to decide whether these ghosts are real or figments of imagination created by grief, anxiety and years of suppression. I'm taking my time to absorb the story and make my deductions, this is not going to be easy!

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for this eARC! The Cherry Robbers is due to publish on 1st February 2022.

4.5/5 🌟(rounded up).
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Book Review for The Cherry Robbers

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
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Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Cherry Robbers by Sarai Walker is a blend of Southern Gothic and historical fantasy that will appeal to fans of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson or The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab.  The story revolves around Sylvia, a reclusive artist with a mysterious past.  She has become relatively well-known in art circles, but nobody knows who she was before she became an artist.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 when Sylvia receives a disturbing letter from a journalist:

:"I'm wondering if any of this sounds familiar to you?
I laughed audibly, more like a scoff of confusion, alarm. Why would it be familiar to me? I'm Sylvia Wren, an artist who lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  I was born and raised in Illinois and now I'm a New Mexican. I know nothing of New England. Or at least that's what I tell people.
But I kept reading the letter because Bellflower Village, the Popplewells, and the house in robin's-egg blue are not actually unknown to me - or rather to the person I used to be.
I don't mean to be coy, Ms. Wren, so let me get to the point: Mrs. Levasseur had a bit too much champagne at lunch and let slip that she knows a secret about you."

Soon after she receives the letter, Sylvia panics.  Then, we are given a flashback to the 1950's when Sylvia and her sister, the Chapel sisters lived in a gorgeous house with their overbearing mother and father.  The sisters long to get married so that they can leave the house.  When the eldest Aster gets engaged, their mother has a horrible premonition that something will happen as a result of the wedding.  The rest of the family ignore her, but something terrible does indeed happen.  Is the family cursed?  Are sinister forces are play, or is the real threat much closer to home?

Overall, The Cherry Robbers is a delightful, spooky Gothic novel.  I couldn't put this book down. I ended up finishing it in a day.  One highlight of this book is the pairing of beautiful descriptions of items of consumption with the creepy ghosts that haunt the family's mansion.  It reminded me slightly of the horror of Crimson Peak, which is one of my favorite films, and the quirkiness of the film Penelope or the TV show Pushing Daisies.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of Gothic novels like the works of Shirley Jackson, then I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in February!
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WoW this book was way better than I originally thought!.
Jumping from New Mexico, 2017 to Connecticut 1950.....which I thought was simply amazing!

2017-Sylvia Wren an artist She is known as a recluse and she shoots anything that has to do with the public! 
But she has a good reason Sylvia is living under a fake identity! 
Hiding from a past she wants to forget about. 
But soon the past comes calling when a journalist shows up wanting a story!.
And Sylvia has to come face to face with her past when she was known as Iris Chapel..
1950- Growing up in a big family Iris Chapel is the second youngest of six sisters... And they are all an heir to a firearm fortune!
Their lives they have been so distant with their father and mother.. 
These girls can't wait to get outta here but the only.way to do that is by marriage..
Little do they know after one sister gets married she soon dies by something mysterious. And it happens again to the second sister!. What do they do? 

I absolutely loved this book! It was beyond amazing!.
The writing was on point! The characters were great, strong willed! 
The entire book was interesting and very intriguing, I had a hard time trying to stop reading to fix dinner! 

Thank you NetGalley & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this amazing ebook copy!.
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