Cover Image: 33 Women

33 Women

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Member Reviews

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.  Thank you to the Author, the Publisher and to Netgalley.   This is the first book that I have read by Isabel Ashdown, and I really liked it.  I gave the book 4 stars.  I found that the big twist at the end was fairly predictable,  but there was a lot that happened that was unexpected.  I was definitely engaged in the story and found myself reading for longer than planned to find out what happened next.  I would recommend this too anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller and I will definitely be reading more books by this author.
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33 Women, set in southeast England, tells the story of three sisters - Celine. Vanessa and Pip - as they clear up their mother's estate after her death.  Middle sister Vanessa had been murdered some years previously and the killer was never identified, although the sisters are convinced it was her estranged boyfriend.  Close to their mother's home is a refuge or commune for women, called Two Cross Farm, with a group of very private and secretive residents lead by a mysterious woman known as Seed.  When another woman is found dead in the area, she is found carefully arranged in a way startlingly similar to Vanessa, and she bears the same tattoos as Vanessa, with two crosses.  Who is the murderer, and are the killings linked in some way to Two Cross Farm?

I will admit I struggled to finish this audiobook and had difficulty staying with it.  The story concept is fairly original and the narrators are quite good, however the pace at times is a little slow and drawn out.  The character of Una is quite entertaining and adds to the enjoyment of the novel, and the theme of domestic violence is timely and relevant.  However the twist at the conclusion seemed a bit of a stretch for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and also to Dreamscape Media for providing me with a copy.
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Celine and Pip have reunited to sort out their reclusive mother’s belongings after her death and prepare for her funeral. Within her belongings they find, what they hope, is a clue as to who may have killed their sister, Vanessa, who was murdered 15 years ago. They believe their sister was in residence at Two Cross Farm before her death, just as another woman who was recently killed in the same manner as Vanessa. 
Determined to find the truth of what really happened to their sister Celine and Pip begin to investigate Two Cross Farm and their leaders.
Two Cross Farm, cult or community? There are always 33 women living here. Known as a safe place for those who have lost their way or have left a fearful domestic situation, the author has described Two Cross Farm as an idyllic place and way of life. 
As you read or listen to this book you may not find Two Cross Farm idyllic or the 33 women living there serene as the author would have you think. The characters carry this book with an unbelievable, but excellent written plot as a psychological thriller with many twists and a surprise ending. Thank you Netgalley and Dreamscape Audio for and early audio version of this book. The comments and review are my honest opinion.
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Reviewing 
33 Women 
By Isabel Ashdown

33 Women starts out slow but the mystery will draw readers in and keep them invested in finding the truth behind Teo Cross Farms. As each woman’s story is uncovered readers get a sense for the everyday struggles that so many women face past and present, and the lengths they go to in order to escape.  

The cultish refuge is cloaked in mystery and while many found salvation within its walls is it possible that for others it simply added to their hellish affair? Well written and beautiful narration by Imogen Church made this a 3.5 star read in my books. 

I was frustrated with inconsistent pacing and the lack of well developed characters but it still grabbed my attention and left me feeling satisfied with the overall mystery. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5 stars and a 14+ rating
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33 Women by Isabel Ashdown was a fast paced mystery thriller told in alternating chapters that took place in the past and the present time. Although Isabel Ashdown has written eight previous books, this was my first book I had read by her. I was impressed with her writing and complex plot along with the vivid and well developed cast of characters she presented. Both narrators, Candida Gubbins and Imogen Church, brilliantly narrated this book. I found the ending surprising but satisfying. It was not how I expected this  book to end. 

Two sisters, Celine and Pip, were reunited after many years,  at their recently deceased mother’s riverside home in Arundel, England. Celine and Pip had been estranged from their reclusive mother for many years. Their mother had always chosen herself over her daughters. When the sisters were barely capable of taking care of themselves, their mother left for good. Back then, there were three sisters. Vanessa, the middle sister, had been brutally murdered over fifteen years prior to their mother’s death. Her murder was never solved and it still haunted both Celine and Pip. When the sisters returned to their mother’s home to put their mother’s affairs in order and bury their mother, the sisters found themselves in different roles now. Celine was now an unmarried lawyer and Pip was a wife and mother of two little girls. Celine and Pip had had little contact with each other over the years. Their mother’s friend, Una, had also joined them to provide support and help. Una was now a retired police detective and a long time family friend that had stayed in touch with both sisters. 

Very close by to Celine’s and Pip’s family home was a neighboring women’s commune named Two Cross Farm. Years and years ago several women ran away and were considered missing. The women had several things in common. They had either been abused or had nowhere else to go. The women ended up at Two Cross Farm where they established a safe haven for women. The founding women established rules to govern themselves and to live by. Fern became its leader and the women thrived off the land and became self sufficient. They rarely if ever had contact with the outside world. Their world was made up of only women who had something to offer to the others or needed the other’s help in keeping them safe. Shortly after it’s establishment, a baby was born, and it was decided that it would someday be ordained as the new leader of Two Cross Farm. That baby would take over the responsibilities Fern had held as the current leader. The women were seen by outsiders as a cult or commune. No one bothered them or paid much attention to them until a murder occurred. The murder was scarily similar to the murder of Celine and Pip’s sister that she suffered almost fifteen years ago.

An investigation was started and it soon became evident to both Celine and Pip how eerily similar the circumstances of this murder was to that of their sister’s murder all those years ago. The most glaring similarity was the  body placement and similar location. Who was this young girl? Why was she in Arundel? It soon became clear that she had lived at Two Cross Farm and worked as a cook there for a short time before her body was found. The women at Two Cross Farm soon became suspects as well. Their leader, a woman known as Seed, held a news conference and spoke to the public where she described the woman’s sudden disappearance from Two Creek Farm and their lack of any knowledge concerning her death. Celine and Pip wanted their sister’s murder case reopened. Perhaps the same murderer had killed both their sister and this young women. Then another murder was discovered and it was discovered that it had been carried out  in much the same fashion as the other two murders.  All three murders,  although years apart, were being investigated now. Celine, Pip and Una suspected that the women at Two Cross Farm were not as innocent as they appeared. How could they prove their theories? Was it possible to infiltrate their cult and learn their secrets? Was Vanessa’s death linked to these other two deaths?

I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of 33 Women by Isabel Ashdown. The diverse characters were believable and likable for the most part. There were several twists in this book that kept me guessing until the very end. I will look forward to reading more books by Isabel Ashdown in the future. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media for allowing me to listen to the audiobook of 33 Women through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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What a creepy, twisted book!  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story.  The question of what has really gone on at the mysterious Two Cross Farm where only women are allowed builds suspense as the murders of 3 women linked to the elusive compound at various periods of time are investigated.  I really enjoyed the multiple POVs told from both the past and present as they converge into one fluid conclusion.  There were a few twists, but the biggest one literally made me gasp out loud.  I did not see it coming at all!    A great thriller that will have you questioning who to believe and who is being protected.  Highly recommend grabbing this book in any form when it comes out July 29, but the audiobook is narrated perfectly!

Thanks to Netgalley and Dreamscape Media for this Advanced Listening Copy.
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33 Women

I’m not one that usually summarizes a story in my review, but it's hard not to with 33 Women. Its an intricately woven story of two sisters, Celine and Pip, who are still recovering from the brutal loss of their sister 15 years ago, when their mother unexpectedly dies and they’re are stuck at her home to figure out her after-death affairs. Little did they know their mothers mansion of a home, was next door to Two Crosses farm, the communal home to 33 women, and many mysteries. 

This story is a slow burn. A weaving of the past and the present in alternating views, to tell the story of Two Crosses, and the sisters lives, since the mid seventies to the present. I was sucked in almost the entire time loving the alternating views of Bramble, a founding member of Two Crosses, and Celine, the eldest of the sisters. 

Loved: 
The Cult-ish feel 
The alternating view points
That there were lots of suspects
Family dynamics 
The way the author cleverly brought up the beginning plot points that were “ah-ha!” moments after the “killer” was found out.  . 

Didn’t Love: 
Very slow burn
Sometimes a bit repetitive
The ending was nicely wrapped in a bow, and it was overly perfect for me
One character that had too many character/plot holes 

Overall I’m a sucker for all things cultish so I enjoyed it. But it's nothing out of the ordinary, and unless you're into cult and family dynamics, It may be a pass. It was definitely more drama/mystery than exciting thriller. 

3.5 

I really enjoyed the narrator, and It was easily sped up to 1.75. Her depiction of when people were upset was especially great. Her voice showed true emotions and made the story come alive.
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I thoroughly enjoyed 33 Women by Isabel Ashdown. Using the tried and true format of unfolding the story in both the past and present the novel was richly layered. The characters are interesting and while the overall secrets that were revealed at the end were not a surprise I still found them quite satisfying.
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grateful to have received this as an arc from Netgalley. as stated from other reviewers this book is truly captivating. There is a sense of hysteria at times and the narrators voice those times every well. its essentially a women's cult with murder and a psychological mystery. I look forward to reading more from this author since this is my first. 

many thanks x
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This book was very slow to get into for me. I cared enough to continue reading because I was hoping for a little excitement. It turned out to be a pretty well written book that has twists and turns but still wraps itself up neatly. The narration is really what made the story for me!
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In 33 Women, the mysterious women's commune, Two Cross Farm is being investigated for the death of a woman bearing two cross tattoos. Celine and Pip are in the area taking care of their mother's funeral but they take notice of the death since it sounds strangely like their own sisters death fifteen years previously. 

This was a good book to read all about the struggles of women on the daily. Each woman at Two Cross Farm comes to seek refuge from their own circumstances. It really made me sad to hear about what these women would do to get away from the men in their lives. There was definitely some twists along the way, however they were somewhat predictable. Celine was extremely stubborn at times that made me want to show her what her actions were doing to the people around her. I listened to the audiobook which had excellent narrators. I love listening to Imogen Church. For me, this was a 3/5 mainly due to my frustration with some of the characters and some predictable twists. 

I received a copy of this audiobook free from NetGalley and Dreamscape Media in exchange for an honest review.
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33 Women by Isabel Ashdown, narrated by Candida Gubbins, Imogen Church

This is a strange story. There is a sense of hysteria at times and the narrators voice those times every well. For a story about a place that should be serene and free from the worries of the outside world, Two Cross Farm is rife with conflict over the years.  It is a cult-ish women's commune with rigid rules that must be followed to the letter, with the penalty of permanent banishment if broken. Thirty three is considered to be the optimum number of inhabitants and there is a waiting list of women who are willing to shed all their "limpets", including children, in order to live at Two Cross Farms. Almost everything is considered an impediment to the tenets of this group and the women are cloistered for what the originators consider their own good. 

The sister of Celine and Pip was murdered fifteen years ago and now that their estranged mom has died and left them a place that neighbors Two Cross Farm they realize that their sister had connections to the farm. In present day, a woman's body is found nearby and she has the same two crosses tattoo that dead sister Vanessa had. With the help of their retired their ex-police officer friend Una, they begin investigating suspicious events connected to the farm. The local police may have dropped the ball over the years when it came to following through on things going on in the area and could be doing the same now. 

Celine and Pip, in the name of getting to the bottom of their sister's death, make very unwise decisions but I decided to turn off the most critical parts of my mind and see where this story took me. Two Cross Farms is a haven for women who are victims of abusive men and I can understand that Two Cross Farm might seem like a refuge from the oppression of the outside world although it also represents it's own kind of repression. This is really borne out by the ending of the book when we find out all the dark and dirty secrets of this farm and it's founders. Crazy things have gone on in the past and crazy things are going on now, at Two Cross Farms. Take this story with a huge grain of salt and you can be entertained by this psychological mystery. 

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for this ARC.
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33 Women is an intense read by Isabel Ashdown

This is a wonderful, character driven book that grabbed me right from the start and held me captive throughout my time reading it. 
The story telling was so descriptive and you really could imagine that you were there yourself, and it leads you to make your own predictions on who killed Vanessa.
I thought this was a slow burner of a delightful psychological thriller. The author builds up the intrigue in layers. Which I simply devoured! 

Thank you NetGalley, publisher and author for this audio book for an honest review!
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This was a totally creepy story about a women’s refuge (a cult?) set apart from society. Two women are trying to figure out what part the refuge played in their sister’s murder 15 years ago. Twisty and eerie, great imagery, and really cool relationships. There were a couple of times that I thought I had it all figured out, but I loved the ending. Thanks @netgalley for the e-ARC!
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Wow! That was great. Why haven’t I heard about this author before? This audiobook book was told by Candida Gubbins and Imogen Church. They narrated dual POV’s. 
Past and present information is brought forward to reveal several mysterious deaths. Well done, with the right amount of pull to keep me listening. 
The author skillfully lays out a strange situation that only becomes stranger. I was surprised at every turn and really enjoyed it. 
I highly recommend listening to this if you love mystery and women’s literature.
Thanks to Dreamscape Media via Netgalley.
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Sisters Celine and Pip have avoided home, and their mother, for years, but after her death, the siblings return home to clean out their mother’s home. Painfully aware of the ghost of their sister Vanessa, who was murdered years ago, the women must confront the past and come to grips with the fact that Vanessa’s murder has never been solved. But then another murder is committed and Celine and Pip are drawn back into the mystery, trying to understand who would want their sister dead while trying to figure out the significance of the number 33. A riveting story brought to life by an excellent cast of narrators
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