Cover Image: The Cherry Robbers

The Cherry Robbers

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Member Reviews

Due to a sudden, unexpected passing in the family a few years ago and another more recently and my subsequent (mental) health issues stemming from that, I was unable to download this book in time to review it before it was archived as I did not visit this site for several years after the bereavements. This meant I didn't read or venture onto netgalley for years as not only did it remind me of that person as they shared my passion for reading, but I also struggled to maintain interest in anything due to overwhelming depression. I was therefore unable to download this title in time and so I couldn't give a review as it wasn't successfully acquired before it was archived. The second issue that has happened with some of my other books is that I had them downloaded to one particular device and said device is now defunct, so I have no access to those books anymore, sadly.

This means I can't leave an accurate reflection of my feelings towards the book as I am unable to read it now and so I am leaving a message of explanation instead. I am now back to reading and reviewing full time as once considerable time had passed I have found that books have been helping me significantly in terms of my mindset and mental health - this was after having no interest in anything for quite a number of years after the passings. Anything requested and approved will be read and a review written and posted to Amazon (where I am a Hall of Famer & Top Reviewer), Goodreads (where I have several thousand friends and the same amount who follow my reviews) and Waterstones (or Barnes & Noble if the publisher is American based). Thank you for the opportunity and apologies for the inconvenience
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I enjoyed this quite a lot. It is categorized as horror, which I wouldn't really call it. Maybe historical, dark magical realism? The book is both dense and moves at quite a fast pace. It has a lot of things to say and takes up a lot of important topics, but it still leaves you with things to interpret for yourself. I would recommend this for fans of Helen Oyeyemi or Toni Morrison.
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The Cherry Robbers" is a delightful tale that effortlessly blends adventure and humor. With its engaging plot and lovable characters, it keeps readers hooked from start to finish. Easy to read, this gem deserves a solid four stars for its genuine charm and delightful storytelling.
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Well, I don't really know how to rate this! I loved the beginning and the premise of this story. It went downhill and was quite a slog for the last third of the book. It could've been edited down quite a bit.
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I waited to long to read this one. Such a wonderful and sad story.  A gothic feel with historical fiction as the base. A story of love, heartache, loss and forgiveness. 
Thank you NetGalley for the copy!
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Thanks to NetGalley and Mariner Books for the review copy!

“The Cherry Robbers” by Sarai Walker is an interesting and exciting story to read. This book is a combination of a gothic thriller and a historical fiction. So that is interesting! The mixture of these two genres is unique, but works out very well. 

The language is beautiful. The pace is good. The writing style is great as well. Everything is on point!
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A captivating story! Not my typical genre but wanted to give it a try since the publishers sent me a widget. Loved the story about the sisters. It was fun seeing all their different talents. 

I think it was a bit long and I thought maybe it could have been shorter and less detailed in parts.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity to review this title, but my reading interests have changed. I will not be finishing this book, but look forward to others in the future.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the ARC of this amazing book.

I loved this!!
Creepy gothic thriller meets historical fiction. It's brilliant! Highly recommend it, especially for fans of Shirley Jackson's books.

The book is so beautifully written and still kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I've had an extremely busy few months, but I still always made time to read this book because I just had to know what happened next!

The Cherry Robbers also explores some really interesting feminist themes like female sexuality, societal norms and expectations in the 1950s and the consequences those had on the young women growing up back then. And these also just add to the horror aspects of the story!
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I was sceptical about this one but I am so so glad I picked it up. I was absolutely hooked by the plot and characters from the get go!

In Mexico, 2017, quiet but popular artist Sylvia Wren has been hunted down by a journalist that is after her story, the story she has been running and hiding from for a very long time.
In Connecticut, 1950, we follow Iris Chapel and her five sisters as they navigate the world, men, and love. They have grown up with a 'crazy' mother, who is convinced their house and name is haunted. These six young women, heiresses to a large firearms fortune, soon find out for themselves just how haunted they truly are tragedy strikes as each gets married.

Sarai Walker absolutely pulled this off. I read it in just a couple of sittings, it didn't at all feel like the 400+ page book that it is. I was drawn in by the plot, then the writing, then these young women. I would feel for them so much and come to like them, only to forget what is in store for them!! I liked that there were some quite gruesome deaths, but it did come to feel a little repetitive having to go through to many incidents with all the sisters. 

Overall this was so fun and I can't wait to see what interesting concept Walker comes up with next.
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The Cherry Robbers is a book about a family that when the daughters married off or became intimate with a guy, the daughters would die. Everything has been placed in the past until one day a reporter reaches out to the remaining daughter, Iris Chapel.  It is then when memories of the past come to light.

I enjoyed this book to the fullest. I was intrigued but haunted. I loved the character development. The author did a great job with the uniqueness of each family member.  

Definitely a book I would recommend for anyone who wants an "edge of their seat experience."  Thank you to Netgalley and Mariner Books for the eARC in exchange of an honest review.
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In 2017, renowned and reclusive American artist Sylvia Wren is at home in New Mexico when she begins receiving correspondence from a journalist in Connecticut. The journalist is asking questions about someone named Iris Chapel, daughter of a firearms mogul and the sole survivor of the six Chapel sisters. In 1950, the Chapel sisters -- all named for flowers -- began dying horrible deaths shortly after they were married. Only Iris was able to escape the curse by fleeing her family home and starting a new Sylvia Wren.

The Cherry Robbers is a difficult book to rate. There's a lot that I enjoyed about this novel -- vivid atmosphere, gorgeous descriptive writing, a unique concept, well-executed symbolism. The setting of the book comes completely alive, and despite the depressing nature of the plot, I found myself wanting to live for a while in its pages: inhabiting a Victorian house dubbed "the Wedding Cake," walking through its rooms painted with flowers, exploring the gardens, eating mid-century dinners, even occasionally being spooked by a ghost. Sarai Walker's writing is so intimate that I felt at times like I was reading a memoir rather than a novel, and I love when I can feel that close to a character.

The Cherry Robbers explores relevant themes through a mid-century lens: societal expectations for women, feminism and the patriarchy, sexuality and love, mental health and LGBTQIA issues, complex family relationships, the grieving process, and what it means to be haunted. Like with Dietland, Sarai Walker has important things to say and she says them overtly. But unlike in that novel, in The Cherry Robbers, the symbolism sometimes overtakes the actual plot, making this an incredibly slow burn with some pacing issues that could've been more condensed, especially given all the foreshadowing of events to come.

I'd classify The Cherry Robbers as Gothic historical fiction; I didn't find it to be very suspenseful, especially with the abundant amount of foreshadowing. Any horror in its pages comes from the Chapel sisters' fates: the idea of not ever being able to be loved, or known, in a traditional way. Despite not offering any real answers about the Chapel sisters' curse, and despite a narrative that occasionally lags, The Cherry Robbers is still compelling and impactful.
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I read this book and then felt like I needed a lot of time to digest it, so this review is a long time coming. I really enjoyed this book and it made me think a lot. I loved the characterization and the setting. This book was a slow build, and the ending was not what I expected.

Overall, I felt this book was very well done and I would love to read more by this author.
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With obvious inspiration from the Winchester family, The Cherry Robbers sweeps us up in the gothic embrace of the Chapel family, famous for making the rifle that helped win the West. With a long line of women who die in childbirth, the family's matriarch has somehow escaped that fate and has a houseful of daughters. As they try to make their flight into the world in the only way women can - marriage - they meet their end. In fact, any intimate experience with a man seems to lead to a funeral. This book was a slow, slow burn -- but I was THERE FOR IT. I loved the unwrapping of the story and the viewpoint of a woman who changed her life trajectory to escape her past the best she can but is still tortured by the ghosts of a curse. Other reviews are correct, there is no huge reveal moment, but the true and real experiences of a woman in such dark surroundings is reward enough for me.
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I liked the writing of this book and found the story as a whole to be interesting but it was way to long for my liking. At times the book became repetitive. How many  times can we read about another sisters death without getting any real details? After reading over 400 pages I still didn't have any closure at the end.
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The Cherry Robbers was a slow, thoughtful, compelling read. The relationships between the doomed sisters felt very real, even as they all (save Iris) met their untimely, mysterious ends. Also an interesting study of gender and the expectations of women. I do wish we learned what exactly was happening to the girls and whether there really was a curse or not, but it was a satisfying read regardless.
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I found The Cherry Robbers interesting enough to finish reading, however there is no passion, no sense of humor and no vitality to be found in this book. Also (and this is creepy), men as portrayed in this novel get the short end of the stick. I don’t believe that all men are bad. For the purposes of the narrator, they are. So proceed with caution.
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One piece of mail changed it all. A simple envelope with a name she hadn’t seen or thought about in half a century.

Iris Chapel.

A name buried deep in the past.

Sylvia Wren is a reclusive and famous artist. Avoiding public appearances to keep her anonymity, until a relentless journalist is threatening to reveal who she really is.

To unearth the curse that haunted the Chapel name. To the deaths of her five sisters and a mother gone mad. To a fortune wrought on the speed of a bullet.

I couldn’t get enough of this book, which will be a delight for anyone fascinated with Sarah Winchester and The Virgin Suicides. Iris Chapels story is one of tragedy and resilience. I loved it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Books for an arc of this title.

4.5 stars rounded up
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Book Review || Thank you, Harper Books and Audio, for the gifted book and audiobook!

Genre: Gothic Fiction
Format: 🎧
Pub Date: 5.17.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆

“When you live in defiance of yourself, you can adapt to your circumstances, but remnants of who you are at your core remain. A bit of wildness that can’t be tamed.”

Full disclosure, I picked up this book because of the cover. But, I stuck around for the authors writing style. Sarai Walker wrote with just enough mystery and subtlety that I couldn't stop reading.

I saw this listed a fictional and a sub-genre mentioned horror - while I do see where one could see the horror element to the story, it didn’t feel overwhelmingly gory. It is gruesome and descriptive (specifically with the death of the first sister), but it in no way compares with other horror stories I’ve read in the past (hello, Book of Accidents).

The only facet that held me back from giving the book a full five stars is that I didn’t feel like I had the ending I needed. It’s difficult for me to explain without giving away too much of the story, but I think I needed more? Don’t get me wrong; it was an exceptional plot that kept me hooked; I was just a bit let down with the ending.

🐌💨 Slow build, and then the story takes off
🌳 Family tree provided
🩸 Horror element
😱 Addicting

❗️- Graphic attempted suicide, self-harm, maternal death

Also, I highly recommend reading the author's note at the end. She provides a lot of context and inspiration for the story! I can’t wait to read the next book Walker writes.
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“The Cherry Robbers” by Sarai Walker, has all the characteristics of a great gothic story – slow burning tension, deep observations, an old Victorian house, and extreme isolation of the family that lives with a curse that’s wiping out its members one-by-one.

With the trademark slow pace of a gothic, the story told has similarities to the widow of the Winchester rifle fortune. Having visited that “haunted mansion” multiple times, I was excited to dive into the melancholy of spirits that were set on destroying this family with hopes to find some understanding. However, it turned into a repetitive plot that built slowly over and over until that shocking moment and in a snap that moment was glossed over and we quickly moved on – very anticlimactic. With all the building and building and foreshadowing, the reader is let down in the moments that mattered most. 

There are feminist themes throughout, and the writing of this book was well done. Ms. Walker took the time to develop these characters and the creepy atmosphere. Even though this book felt drawn out, I was left longing for more. No questions were answered, no mystery solved nor was there an understanding of events.  

Thank you to NetGalley, Sarai Walker and Mariner Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. ❤️️
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