Member Reviews

I couldn’t put this book down once I started, so so good.

Honestly everything was so up my alley - the book mixed well-developed characters and gothic 1950s atmosphere, exploring some heavy themes with such elegance.

Paulette Kennedy's engaging prose skillfully blends historical fiction, horror, and mystery, making for an incredibly captivating read. I think this would be such a fun book club pick!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Another book that I went in blind and took me by surprise, that’s what I love about reading. A domestic thriller, with vintage vibes, paranormal elements and some romance in the mix. An original and gripping story from start to finish.

Thank you Suzy Approved Book Tours for this tour invite.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗿𝘀. 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 by Paulette Kennedy Lake Union Authors released March 5, 2024.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoy this author's writing with its easy reading Gothic undertones and great sense of time and place. Loretta is a good characterization of a woman's place in the 1950's. She's richly drawn and likeable and easy to root for. The author does a great job of expressing what life for a youngish woman with a domineering, devoutly religious husband was like at the time when women still had to rely on men to do things as simple as opening a bank account. I also enjoyed the psychic aspect of the plot and how it gave Loretta purpose beyond just a homemaker.
If you like stories of women that come into their own with a feminist sensibility and a well developed plot, I encourage you to give this one a go.

Was this review helpful?

I love a good gothic tale and this spin on a 1950's housewife who suddenly gains the ability to communicate with the dead is utterly amazing! Trying to make sense of her world while her husband believes it's the devil's doing, really shed light on some of the domestic issues, mental health and fundamental religious beliefs current during that time in history.
I love the writing and the how the terminology was in line with the 1950's. That aspect made the character's feel even more real to me. Loretta was a delight, but Pete, not so much.
I definitely recommend if you like haunting period novels.

Was this review helpful?

Book Review: The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy

Rating: 5 Stars

If you're looking for a captivating read that seamlessly weaves together elements of mystery, the supernatural, and the struggles of a woman finding her voice in the 1950s, then The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy is a must-read.

Set in Missouri in 1955, the story follows Loretta Davenport, a young mother and wife to Pete, an assistant professor. Their seemingly idyllic life takes a chilling turn when Loretta begins receiving messages from beyond following a local girl's murder. As she grapples with these supernatural occurrences, her husband dismisses them as delusions, setting the stage for a gripping tale of empowerment and self-discovery.

Kennedy's writing is nothing short of phenomenal, drawing readers into a world where the line between reality and the paranormal blurs. The plot is expertly crafted, keeping you on the edge of your seat with its twists and turns. The characters are richly developed, particularly Loretta, whose journey towards embracing her unique gift is both inspiring and haunting.

One of the standout aspects of this book is its portrayal of feminism in the 1950s. Through Loretta's story, Kennedy shines a light on the constraints placed on women during that era and the courage it took to defy societal expectations. The atmospheric setting further immerses readers in a time where women's voices were often silenced, making Loretta's journey all the more compelling.

In The Devil and Mrs. Davenport, Kennedy masterfully blends themes of empowerment, mystery, and the supernatural, delivering a riveting read that lingers long after the final page. If you're looking for a book that challenges conventions and celebrates the strength of women, then look no further. This is a story that demands to be read.

So, run - don't walk - and immerse yourself in the haunting world of The Devil and Mrs. Davenport. You won't be disappointed.

⚠️This review was written based on personal opinions and experiences with the book. Individual preferences may vary⚠️

Was this review helpful?

THE DEVIL AND MRS DAVENPORT was an intriguing mix of genres - a little bit of historical fiction, drama, and thriller. Paulette Kennedy touches on a lot of topics from domestic abuse, motherhood and true crime. I loved the writing style - it was compelling and atmospheric and I couldn’t wait to keep reading.

Was this review helpful?

Really well written, meticulous in its accuracy of description of the 50s and how womens lives were basically lived for the whim of their husbands…restrictions on independence of banking, work, etc.. The ESP portion of story was handled very well, not to any extreme, just as a factor of her life. Really enjoyed the writing and the story.

Was this review helpful?

This was a brilliant Historical/Horror/Thriller mash up that I really think deserves its flowers!

We're in 1955 in Missouri. A young housewife and mother named Loretta Davenport takes ill with a fever that not only causes her to experience chills and aches, but also causes her to have unsettling hallucinations and hear voices. the voices are thoses of restless spirits. victims that pled with Loretta to solve the murderers that have yet to be solved. Loretta's husband thinks this is thr work of the devil.

This story was brilliantly atmospheric, engrossing and poignant,

Was this review helpful?

This was a wonderful story about one woman and her journey to finding her own strength and realizing her own worth. It’s essentially a woman’s story of breaking free from society’s conventions and reaching her true potential. I absolutely fell in love with this story and Loretta’s perseverance.

I highly recommend this book, it touches on subjects like religion and women’s rights, and criticizes the society’s viewpoint of the era.

Was this review helpful?

There is nothing like a thriller to keep you glued to a book for an afternoon. The Devil and Mrs Davenport is a wonderful book about mental illness and marriage in 1950s America that will keep you hooked until the last page.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the gothic vibes and the supernatural elements making it a very atmospheric read. It had a cast of likeable and unlikeable characters with Barbara and Dr. Hanson being my favorite. I loved how the treated Loretta and were there to help in any way necessary. I forgot how little rights women had during this time and I was frustrated multiple times throughout. I loved that it involved an investigation and how Loretta’s “visions” not only had to do with it, but how they also affected her home life. It was a slow burn building up to a ending that both shocked me while leaving me satisfied with the outcome. I love this author’s writing style as she really makes you feel for the main character.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Great historical setting that is very eye opening on the time period that it is set in.
Well written and interesting. This author is a great writer and put a lot into this book.

Was this review helpful?

I love Paulette's writing style and the way she draws me in right from the start. Loretta's story is intriguing and I loved the Gothic elements of the story. I found the author's note fascinating as I had been thinking about life in the 1950's and what that looked like as I read the book. The characters are all really interesting in their own way and the setting is described so perfectly that I felt like I was there. Another fantastic read from this author.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book, a multilayered story about prejudice, misogyny and how it was being a woman in the 50s
A psy gift that becomes a tool for accusing a belittle a woman, her part to change.
Loved it
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

Was this review helpful?

Paulette Kennedy is one of my favorite authors.

The reason that I loved this book so much is that it has an ominous thread running through it, but also has a very insightful look into life in 1955.

The book is set in 1955 and Loretta Davenport is our main character. After having the flu, Loretta gains a gift that some (like her controlling husband) may say came from the devil.

This book explores how this gift changes Loretta’s perception of herself and her life.

Paulette does begin the book with the content warnings which I appreciated.

I was also completed engaged in the fact that parapsychologist Dr. Curtis Hansen who works with Loretta (secretly) references Duke and its parapsychology institute. It’s a real place doing real research and I just loved that authenticity.

I couldn’t put this one down! I can’t wait to see what Paulette has in store for us next!

Was this review helpful?

Multi-layered and nuanced, The Devil and Mrs. Davenport slowly strips away the façade of an “average” 1950s family to expose the rotten core beneath. As her demeaning, dismissive husband seeks to tighten control, Loretta discovers her submerged supernatural talents. While convening with an empathetic doctor, and the persistent spirits, Loretta grows in confidence as her powers surge. Yet the hard-won decision to change her life spins her in an even more dangerous direction. Paulette Kennedy builds gothic suspense to an unputdownable crescendo in this compelling, dramatic novel.

Was this review helpful?

Loretta Davenport—a 1950s mother and housewife trapped in an abusive marriage and a deeply religious household—begins to experience supernatural knowing. A fascinating and horrific tale unfolds as Mrs. Davenport encounters one devil after another.

This gothic thriller slash murder mystery slash harrowing tale of women’s empowerment is EXACTLY the kind of book I want to read and share with others. I was already recommending it to anyone who would listen when I was only 20% into the story. I’m happy to report that, at 100%, I will be singing its praises even more loudly. It’s the best thing I’ve read in months, and I’ve added everything Paulette Kennedy has written to my TBR.

Full review posted to Goodreads:

Was this review helpful?

Hello lovely readers,

This novel is very close to my heart. I do hope that you’ll enjoy Loretta’s story, and that her resilience and light inspires you.

Thank you so much for reading.

Was this review helpful?

The premise and summary of this book really got my attention. The topics of witchcraft and horror all in a gothic novel sounded like it would be my cup of tea but for the life of me I could not get into this book. I've tried to pick it up multiple times but I only made it to about 15% until I just couldn't get into it. Way too slow for me, unfortunately.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. Wow! This was a great read! I must admit I was a bit freaked out while reading this which doesn't happen often. This story was so engaging I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend

Was this review helpful?