Member Reviews

Thank you to Net Galley for my ARC!
This story follows Loretta, a stay at home mother with 2 children. Loretta is trying to navigate being in a controlling marriage while experiencing visions from those who have passed. She tries to use her newly found abilities to solve past murders while keeping all this form her husband. The characters in this story were well developed and i found this book to be a quick read.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! Perfect autumnal feel, intriguing plot and eerie/spooky vibes. It reminded me of old horror movies---the themes of spirits, patriarchy and religion are super interesting.

Was this review helpful?

Despite the incredibly interesting blurb and premise of this book, it just wasn't for me! The writing was interesting and engaging and the characters were developed well, and the plot moved on at a good pace, I just personally struggled to connect to the main character and the plot. But still, a well written book.

Was this review helpful?

This book had me gripped from start to finish. Loretta Davenport discovers she has new psychic abilities when she experiences visions related to the murder of a local girl. Set in the 1950s, this novel explores both the dangers and empowering sides of domesticity, motherhood, and navigating how to escape her abusive marriage from her religious husband, Pete.

Although this novel was predictable in certain aspects of plot structure, the villain, and themes, this book still kept me hooked; turning the pages desperate to find out how Loretta will escape from her husband once and for all.

I initially picked this up intrigued by the title and the autumnal, nostalgic feeling that the cover provoked– and was not disappointed. This book was highly entertaining, filled with sympathetic characters, and a dynamic storyline, leaving the readers wanting to find out more.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in an exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I definitely felt for Loretta Davenport throughout the novel and I wanted her to be able to prove herself to her husband and for her to be believed by those around her. Great read!

Was this review helpful?

Wow this was an amazing story! Loretta is a stay at home mother in the 50s with two kids and a husband who works long hours. After falling sick, some strange things start to happen to Loretta. There are some mysteries in town where people have died and Loretta experiences visions relating to these murders. Her husband tries to persuade her to be a beautiful wife, but Loretta has no other choice than to continue to lean in to her new abilities. The book delivers exactly what you would expect from gender stereotypes in the 50s, and keeps a good pace when moving the narrative forward. This was a book that was hard to put down and the tense moments in the book really hook you in.

Was this review helpful?

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is a domestic gothic suspense about a 1950s housewife who develops psychical powers complicating the strict gender roles and domesticity of the era.

Loretta Davenport seems to have it all. A lovely home, a husband who works at the local Bible college, and two children who love her dearly. Beneath the surface of this ideal nuclear family in 1950s Missouri, something unusual is happening to Loretta, something otherworldly, something unexplainable.

Loretta begins receiving visions and visitations of the dead which she finds unsettling and confusing. Her husband Pete is uncomfortable with what's happening as his Pentecostal beliefs see this as an evil threat. Loretta contacts a parapsychologist who helps her to refine her gift but when her gift threatens the quiet normal life she has always known, the gift becomes a curse, a devil that destabilizes the Davenport's average normal life. When Loretta's visions become more intense, local authorities begin enlisting her to assist with murder investigations. When a local unsolved murder case hits very close to home, Loretta is forced to put herself first and at risk.

When this book became available to review, I knew I had to read it as I am a fan of Paulette Kennedy's work. The first part of the book was a little dry and I was worried that the book was going to be an average ghost hunting thriller...but in typical Kennedy fashion, the middle of the book took a big turn, and the dread and eerie suspense that Kennedy writes so well revived what seemed like a dull plot. What I really liked about this book was that the gender norms of the 1950s were explored and critiqued through the lens of psychical powers. The feminine awakening for Loretta, using a metaphysical ability, was a clever way to empower her by having her be forced to make choices, find freedom, and ultimately stand up for herself. Some scenes were difficult to read as some of the most disturbing horrors took place in the home, in the hospital, and the church. The retro prim and proper time and setting for this book was the perfect backdrop to explore its dark underbelly.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport was a terrific book and I happened to read it in week where women's rights were being particularly trampled on by certain states and it made me feel more for Mrs. Davenport than I may have normally.

Abused by her husband, she is struggling to be the perfect wife, mother, and woman that society at that time expected her to be - all while discovering her powers via receiving messages from a recently murdered young woman. Her husband dismisses her out of hand and just wants her to shut up and be docile. I rooted for her and felt the oppression she must have felt from Pete and his ideals.

As a Missourian, I unfortunately know families that still subscribe to this patriarchal lifestyle (STILL!!!) and it was so easy to imagine the struggle Loretta went through.

I haven't ready anything by Paulette Kennedy before, but I am absolutely reading more in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC! I loved this book - the plot, characters, pace and writing. Readers get to dive into Mrs. Davenport’s life as a mother navigating an abusive marriage, her children and her newly founded psychic abilities. Though it was not a smooth ride for her, she had great friends to rely upon throughout her journey. I was really rooting for a happy ending for Mrs. Davenport. Great read, 5 stars!

Was this review helpful?

I loved the nostalgic feelings that the author evoked. The plot is highly entertaining albeit unbelievable. I enjoyed it and think it would be a great book to discuss at book clubs etc.

Was this review helpful?

The plot for this book is interesting enough: a 1960's housewife who discovers she has ESP and other abilities that include speaking with the dead.
Her husband, a seemingly religious man is against her speaking about her talents, believing it is the work of the devil, not to mention the misogyny typical of the time. There is an underlying darkness to the husband that once it's revealed, it comes as no surprise.
The novel is an entertaining read, but the writing itself is lacking. There's really no dimensionality to the main character, and although we root for her, she always seems to be fall flat. The fairytale ending is also a bit too unrealistic for even a fictional story.

Was this review helpful?

Its 1955 in the Midwest, and Loretta Davenport is a stay at home, mother and wife. Her husband, Pete is a professor at a religious college. Life is uncomplicated for Loretta until a local girl is murdered, and Loretta starts getting messages from beyond the grave. Larreta knows these messages are real, even as her husband insists that they are just the imaginings of a bored housewife. Refusing to bow to her husband’s beliefs, Loretta contacts a parapsychologist. Dr. Curtis Hansen believes she has a real gift and sets out to help Loretta hone her powers. Unfortunately, her husband sees all of this as the work of the devil, and Loretta must find a way to stand up for herself before her husband and his faith bury her

Was this review helpful?

"The Devil and Mrs. Davenport" by Paulette Kennedy promises to be a gripping and atmospheric tale set in 1950s Missouri, blending elements of the supernatural, psychological suspense, and domestic drama. This intriguing description sets the stage for a story that explores themes of isolation, empowerment, and the thin line between faith and fear.

The character of Loretta Davenport immediately stands out as a complex and sympathetic protagonist. Her journey from a seemingly tranquil domestic life into a world of paranormal experiences and voices from beyond is both mysterious and captivating. The conflict between Loretta's growing abilities and her husband Pete's skepticism adds a layer of tension and drama that promises to keep readers engaged.

The introduction of Dr. Curtis Hansen, a parapsychologist who supports Loretta, suggests a fascinating dynamic between science and the supernatural. This could provide thought-provoking insights into the nature of belief and the boundaries of human understanding.

The book's description hints at a carefully crafted atmosphere, with the autumn setting and the backdrop of a murder adding to the sense of foreboding and intrigue. The clash between Loretta's newfound purpose and Pete's fear of losing control over his wife's faith is likely to be a central conflict that drives the narrative forward.

Overall, "The Devil and Mrs. Davenport" appears to be a compelling and multi-layered story that explores themes of identity, empowerment, and the blurred lines between the ordinary and the supernatural. Readers who enjoy atmospheric mysteries with a touch of the paranormal are likely to find this book to be an intriguing and thought-provoking read.

Was this review helpful?

oh my goodness!! this book was such a pure delight!! i really truly enjoyed this one so much! thank you so much to netgalley for letting me read this one early! please pick it up when it comes out!!!

Was this review helpful?