So I know I said I would review the recent release of my agency-mate, Michael Boccacino’s Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling… but then Chelsea Pitcher, another wonderful agency-mate of mine, got to it before me on her blog. Since she described so perfectly how I felt about the book, I thought I would re-blog it here (after the official description in italics):
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, “the place for the Things Above Death,” where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.
However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling–one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.
Chelsea’s thoughts: “Boccacino is a master of descriptions, and I was immediately drawn into the lush dual landscapes of Everton and The Ending. One of the things that delighted me about this story is that Boccacino would lull me into a false sense of security by creating a setting that felt vaguely familiar and relatable, and then wham! Everything shifted, the petals of the story unfolded, and suddenly I found myself staring into a world I couldn’t have anticipated with a plethora of creatures I wasn’t expecting. It was shocking, engaging, and altogether addictive. […]
Suffice it to say that the jacket description is accurate—this is a story about a governess drawn into a web of death and deceit, and an age-old game that seems impossible to win. But there is also so much more! The characters are richly drawn and complex, the history of The Ending is a delight to discover, the relationships are heartbreakingly real, and the solutions are anything but black and white. […]
In summation: Boccacino has such a talent for writing passages that are deeply sad and at the same time wickedly intriguing. It’s difficult to even articulate the complexity of emotions I experienced while reading this book. A truly engaging, wonderful read!”
Check out Chelsea’s full review here. Thank you, Chelsea!
P.S. Do please await with great anticipation Chelsea’s upcoming book, The S-word, which debuts May 7th.