Cover Image: The Midnight House

The Midnight House

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Member Reviews

This story really draws you into the lives of its protagonists. Set over a triple timeline- 1939, 1950s and 2019; each era unveils a little more of the overall story. It all begins in 1939 when Charlotte, a young beautiful aristocrat disappears suddenly. The only trace of her being a broken string of pearls found by the lough. She is eventually declared dead. But-Have the IRA killed her? Was it suicide? 
Modern day Ellie finds a letter in an old book which implies that Charlotte wrote it after she disappeared, and after her supposed death. Ellie is intrigued and begins to investigate.
This is a great story, keeping the reader riveted in the search for what really happened.  A good holiday read- highly recommended!
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The Midnight House by Amanda Geard is a captivating mystery laced with family secrets, war, love and sacrifice. 
In short, Ellie Fitzgerald discovers a letter tucked inside an old book, intrigued she begins her mission to unravel the mystery. 
I enjoy a good historical novel and this one is cleverly told in 3 different timelines…I think a family tree added at the front of the book would have been useful. 
It’s a fascinating story, very evocative of the 1940’s in Ireland with it’s political narrative. Beautifully written with plenty of twists and turns, you’ll love this engrossing family story. 
Big thanks to Amanda Geard, Headline and NetGalley for this eARC which I chose to read in return for my honest review.
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What a brilliant first book by this author I so look forward to her 2nd book.I loved the era in the past it was set in and how the recent present was also included.Adored all the Co.Kerry references a place I love.I would put this book in the same vein as Lucinda Riley, an author I love.Amanda's book kind of reminded me of the seven sisters series.
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I enjoyed this book much more than I’d expected to. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the blurb or the cover, but I thought it might be another ‘stately home + mystery’ novel with no huge surprises. However, the depth of characterisation and complexity of the story drew me in and kept me reading for two straight days. Ellie is our present day narrator and she’s having to take leave from work as an investigative journalist after trying to expose an important businessman. So she returns to her family home in County Kerry, Ireland to spend time with her mother. Trying to keep a low profile so all and sundry don’t know about her return, is a lost cause in a small Irish village. Looking desperately for reading material she braves the charity shop and her mother’s friend Tabby Ryan who has set aside a box of books that have come from the large stately home Blackwater Hall. Ellie is grateful to see a few Agatha Christie novels and takes the whole box. Inside is a mysterious letter, addressed only to ‘T’ clearly belonging to the Rathmore family. It ignites a spark in Ellie, but she tries to do the right thing and return it. At the hall she meets Albert, the lone member of the Rathmore family left behind who he seems confused about who Ellie is and asking for his mother. Then she discovers the mystery surrounding the family, Charlotte Rathmore disappeared during WWII leaving a broken string of pearls by the lake. The official version is that Charlotte killed herself, but Ellie senses a story and starts to seek out other remaining members of the family. Can she solve the mystery of Charlotte’s disappearance and what changes will the truth bring to Blackwater Hall and the Rathmore family?

The author tells the story across three timelines. We travel back to Blackwater Hall and Nancy’s first visit to meet her boyfriend Teddy Rathmore’s family. This timelines really establishes the characters within the Rathmore family and the beginning of a friendship between Nancy and Teddy’s sister Charlotte. This is before WWII and the aristocratic family are thriving, but there are little hints of a change on the horizon. Charlotte has rebellion and adventure in her soul, while Teddy is ready and somewhat relieved to strike out into a new life with Nancy since elder brother Hugo is the heir apparent. There is the present day timeline with Ellie who is an interesting character in her own right. There’s some resistance to becoming comfortable back home, even though she’s finding it suits her in some respects. She may be uprooting other people’s secrets, but theres a sense she has some of her own lurking under the surface; a possible broken relationship and a reluctance to talk about it that intrigued me and made me want to know more. In these split timeline narratives there’s often a lack of character or strong storyline in the present day, leaving the reader more intrigued with the past and creating an imbalance to the story. The reader can find themselves racing through the present bits to get to the real story. The author doesn’t fall into that trap here, Ellie is interesting in her own right and her journey feels important too. The third timeline is something of a surprise as we follow a little girl called Hattie at Blackwater House and her emerging friendship with gardener and handyman Tomas. She is interested in how he makes things grow and starts to help him planting the potato crop in the garden. There’s a connection between these two that’s immediate and I was touched by them, possibly remembering days in the garden shed with my Grandad, tying onions up and hanging them from the ceiling and chitting potatoes. Tomas isn’t always the calm and shy man he is with Hattie and if he hears a bang, particularly a gunshot, he is back at war in an instant. His solitary and quiet work is clearly important in managing his PTSD. I was immediately drawn to this character and intrigued by his possible importance in the Rathmore’s story. 

There are other flashbacks too, a section from the Blitz in London is particularly tense and heartbreaking. The author describes the air raids from the Lufwaffe so clearly I felt I was there with the characters. I thought the sense of foreboding was incredible and the slow realisation of the danger the characters were in was beautifully written. The sense that the help needed, the help that’s usually there, was out of reach and something terrible might happen. The damage wrought in these streets and the fortitude of the people caught up there was powerfully portrayed and really gripped my emotions. I was right there with them. I felt the author balanced those moments of terrible tension and drama beautifully with the lightness of rural Ireland and the people Ellie meets in her old neighbourhood. This is a place where only those in the big house were able to keep their secrets. The people are strong, community minded and often Ellie’s interactions with them have a light humour about them. I enjoyed her growing friendship with Milo Rathmore - another returnee to the village, now the village GP and carer for his father Albert. He is from Ellie’s world and the pair can look at the place with a critical eye, but also a good humoured and fond heart. I was interested in whether Ellie’s more recent personal issues would come to light. Could she finally confide in her mother and accept someone’s comfort and care, despite that solid streak of independence? I also wondered whether her career would ever be restored and if she could return, would she want to? Mostly though I was interested in what had happened to Charlotte, this beautiful, rebellious girl with so much spirit. I couldn’t believe she would kill herself, but feared that her true end was even more heartbreaking. That extra timeline post WWII also held surprises I really didn’t expect. Despite wanting all the answers I was sorry when this novel ended and there’s no better compliment than that.
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# The Midnight House is by author #Amanda Geard. A wonderful dual timeline novel. From 1940 to 2019 just fabulous.
When Ellie finds a old book she discovers a faded letter she finds herself drawn into mystery and secrets.....
Thank you for the advance copy,
# Netgalley and # Headline Review
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I have been so excited by this book and it definitely hasn’t disappointed. I have been completely immersed and unwilling to put this one down. This is an absolute gem and it’s a must for the TBR.

Any book set in Ireland is one I need to read. I just love it, the setting is just gorgeous and this book has been a magical read which has completely consumed me until the very last word. I have loved every single page.

The characters are stunning but a mixed bunch. This is a beautiful story of friendship. Ellie is down on her luck and returns from Dublin to her home time.

This is an interesting journey with some fantastic characters. The descriptions are fantastic and this really transports you to the pages. This is a book which becomes impossible to put down. I have devoured page after page and had no regrets. This is a book which is a must read.

Geard is so clever in interweaving the separate narratives into one. I’m not always a fan of multiple timelines but this has been a completely enthralling read. This is well crafted and beautifully written.

Amanda Geard is definitely an author to watch out for. This is a fantastic debut and one I wish I could experience for the first time all over again.

This is without a doubt a must read and one I will be recommending to everyone. I can safely say there is nothing I have disliked about this gem.
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I love, love, loved this book! It’s been a while since I stumbled upon a new author who completely blows me away and makes me excited to recommend it! This is a beautifully written novel full of vivid imagery and interesting characters. It contains a compelling mystery with a near perfect execution of dual timelines. The atmospheric quality of writing captivated me from beginning to end. It felt as if I were there in rural Ireland in both 1940 and 2019! I loved the way the author used a note tucked in an old Agatha Christie as the impetus for the mystery. The clues were revealed slowly yet provided the right amount of information to make the puzzle fit together perfectly. I love the “family secret” type mystery, especially if a big old house is involved. This may well be in my list of top reads of 2022!  I hope Amanda Geard continues to provide more of this type of atmospheric writing. Kate Morton better look out!
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4.5 ⭐️‘s
Ellie, a journalist, has returned to Ballinn, County Kerry in a disgrace, little does she know that she will soon be completely engrossed in a death that happened eighty years ago.  When she finds a mysterious letter in a book that changes everything about the case, Ellie delves in deeper, interviewing family, friends and acquaintances as she draws ever closer to solving what really happened to young Charlotte Rathmore and the secrets of Blackwater Hall.  Written in three different time frames (1940, 1958 and 2019) and told in three different voices, Geard draws the reader in early and the pages turn quickly.  Unlike many dual timeframes, Geard goes a step further with three and all three are equally compelling which is truly a difficult feat! Well done!
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I absolutely loved this book!  The atmosphere drew me in and I loved the characters. This is a must read!
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The cover of the book is what 1st drew me. Then I read the synopsis and was intrigued. I love dual time novels and throw in a mystery, even better. This is the 1st book i have read by the author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

The book is set over several time periods. 1939/40, 1958 and 2019. The story is about the mysterious disappearence of Lady Charlotte Rathmore, presumed acceidentally, or purposely drowned in 1940. Then in 2019 Ellie Fitzgerald has returned home to lick her wounds from a failed relationship and carreer. As a journalist she is intrigued when she stumbles across a letter written by Charlotte and decides to investigate her disappearance. The story takes place in Ireland and London during the War and in Ireland in the present day. I have to say that I guessed the mystery before the end, but it did not dampen my enjoyment of the book. I really loved Nancy, Charlotte and Ellie’s characters. They were strong women who overcame some forbidding obstacles. 

I recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Amanda Geard in the future.

Thanks to Netgalley, Headline, and the author for the chance to read and review this book.
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The cover of this book is sooooo beautiful, so I’m sure I’ll get the hard copy of it. It’s set over 3 timelines, and I liked the way the author did that. Just make sure you have time to read this book because you won’t be able to put it down. 

Thank you NetGalley and Headline for my ARC
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I really enjoyed this duel (three-al? Not mentioned in the blurb is Hattie’s story from 1958). The events of 1940 which affect those of 1958 and are explored in 2019 are a genealogists dream. Tracking down a mystery disappearance and what happened to Charlotte Rathmore. The book feels like it’s written with love. You really grow to love all the characters involved and what they are willing to do for love.

It’s not a fast novel but it is a page turner. I found it took me a while to read. I normally have a fast reading style. I think the pace of the book brought me to its level rather than me trying to push through and read as fast as possible. Not a negative. I think I took more in that I maybe would have done otherwise.

It’s a compelling read by a debut author. I’m looking forward to what she does next
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Ellie Fitzgerald is a journalist who is down on her luck. She accidentally comes across a letter from Charlotte, dated 1940. Although Ellie tries to dismiss the find, her curiosity overcomes her. As Ellie searches for information about the historic letter, she uncovers Charlotte's painful, mysterious family secrets. 

The Midnight House by Amanda Geard is a remarkable story of friendship. The novel takes place in 2019, 1958, and 1940. It took several chapters of the kindle e-book for me to engage with the narrative entirely. After that, the plot took an exciting turn, and I could not stop reading till the end. I admired the characters and the beautifully depicted scenes. Amanda Geard is a master at making book enthusiasts feel the characters' experiences as they quickly read the pages. The Midnight House will appeal to those who appreciate a well-written work of women's fiction.

The Midnight House by Amanda Geard is available on May 12th. 
(4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐) 

Thank you, NetGalley and Headline, for allowing me to review this gorgeous book. I appreciate your kindness.
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The Midnight House By Amanda Geard another NetGalley read.  I was drawn to this book by it’s cover, I haven’t read anything by this author before. Set between 1940, 1958 and 2019, this story follows Ellie Fitzgerald, as she follows the story and disappearance of Lady Charlotte Rathmore and the Rathmores family secrets. This book wasn’t for me at all. It’s definitely mysterious and in places intriguing but overall I found it hard to following and at times confusing.  The story goes between the three year, 1940, 1958 and 2019 and sometimes this happens it feels in quick succession, which for me made it incredibly hard to follow. To be honest if this hasn’t been a NetGalley read I probably would have lost interest and given up. There are parts that grip you slightly but this is soon passes as you are thrown into another less interesting chapter, a different year. Again for me the words didn’t flow, the story didn’t flow because it felt like there was to much going on that I couldn’t at times stay connected and focused on what was going on. I felt that a lot of the story unfortunately gets lost in the way it’s time, the way it comes off the pages. I think the author tries to build suspense at the end of each chapter ending them on what could be thought of as cliff hangers but I was left confused because of the jumping from one year to another. As I approached the end I suddenly thought that the best way to describe this book was that the story of Charlotte was intriguing and in parts interesting, here was a strong woman who strove for her independence in difficult times and circumstances however this is somewhat lost in the way the story was told. Towards the end I felt that parts of it just didn’t ring true, didn’t feel like they belonged almost like the author wanted to tie up the loose ends but it just came about to suddenly and out of place (Don’t want to spoil it for anyone) the rejoining of a couple felt unrealistic amongst the misery and sadness of wartime London and felt somewhat cliche. I won’t be recommending this book to friends or family, though I realise it will appeal to some. ⭐️⭐️
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This book didn’t captivate me unfortunately, I really did have to push myself to read it to the end and I ended up feeling a bit disappointed. It had some good points and I enjoyed the writing style, but the storyline wasn’t for me
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ugh. i wanted to enjoy this book. but it fell flat for me. it just didn't have anything that i felt was interesting. that's just my opinion so take it with a huge grain of salt.
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A wonderful read and a good, spellbinding mystery with wonderful characters that leap off the page. This was beautifully written with the story spanning generations.
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The beautiful cover and synopsis intruiged me, I love dual timeline novels and this one certainly didn't disappoint, in fact its set over 3 timelines, 1940, 1958 and 2019 but at no point did it become confusing. 
A story of an aristocratic family and secrets they prefer to stay hidden, a long lost mystery
The words just flow off the page and is a delight to read.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Headline and especially Amanda Geard for writing such a wonderful novel
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Set in Ireland this is a captivating and enchanting read. Set across two timelines the story seamlessly switches from the 1940’s and the disappearance of Lady Charlotte Rathmore to 2019 when Ellie finds a letter in a book. As secrets come to light the story will keep you gripped to your chair. I couldn’t put it down.
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A brilliant dual timeline novel. A very gripping read that was extremely hard to put down, which led to a binge read and finished within a day. Highly recommend
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