Sunday, 8 May 2016
Darkmere - Helen Maslin
A castle. A curse. One dangerous holiday ...
Kate and her friends are spending the summer at Darkmere Castle in Devon which she thinks will be a perfect opportunity for her to get together with Leo. But instead, she s drawn into the dark story of an nineteenth-century girl who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house ... and whose curse now hangs over them all.
I'd heard so many wonderful things about Darkmere and as such was very excited to sink my teeth into this young adult novel. With comparisons to Daphne du Maurier, whose work I absolutely adore, I began reading with a heart full of hope and just a smidge of trepidation - would it be able to live up to such huge accolades?
Helen Maslin has definitely taken the elements of a traditional gothic novel and twisted them to fit this dual narrative tale. The contemporary element keeps it fresh and current, so teen readers will find themselves relating to Kate, Leo and the rest of the crew as they run from society and the constraints it imposes on them. But it was the nineteenth century story of young wife Elinor which pulled at my heartstrings the most. It definitely had a feel of Rebecca, with dark secrets and a protagonist who is unsure of what's happening with her own marriage.
I found myself holding my breath as the ghostly tale unfolded before me and the past and present entwined. The castle of the title is a wonderful setting and the imagery created transported me into the building in both time periods.
I'll definitely be looking out for more of Helen Maslin's work as the writing was fantastic and the novel as a whole was a breath of fresh air. Chilling and captivating, Darkmere had my heart pounding in my chest for all the right reasons.
Darkmere is available in ebook and paperback format, published by Chicken House books.