Thursday, 13 March 2014

Devil in the Corner by Patricia Elliott

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley.
Devil in the CornerBlurb (from Goodreads):
A gorgeously gothic historical tale from the author of THE PIMPERNELLES

Penniless, and escaping the horrors of life as a governess to brutal households, Maud seeks refuge with the cousin-by-marriage she never knew. But Juliana quashes Maud's emerging friendships with the staff and locals - especially John, the artist commissioned to restore the sinister Doom in the local church. John, however, is smitten with Maud and makes every effort to woo her.

Maud, isolated and thwarted at every turn, continues to take the laudanum which was her only solace in London. Soon she becomes dependent on the drug - so is this the cause of her fresh anxieties? Or is someone - or something - plotting her demise?

Is the devil in the corner of the Doom a reality, or a figment of her imagination?

Devil in the Corner by Patricia Elliott

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Devil in the Corner(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Maud is all alone in the world after her father’s death when she was fifteen. After three failed jobs as a governess, Maud is pleased to receive a letter from a cousin by marriage – Julianna, who offers to take her in in return for some company.
Julianna’s health is failing, and Maud finds that she is little more than an unpaid nursemaid, running around after Julianna, and unable to spend time with suitors because Julianna forbids it.
Will Maud ever be happy until Julianna is dead? And if Julianna dies, will she have anything left anyway?

This was an okay story, but the pace was painfully slow.

Maud was an okay character, although I’m still not 100% sure if she was sane or not. To start with she seemed fairly normal, but as the book went on I really did begin to doubt her. Was she hallucinating? Was she really meddling with people’s medicines? Was she really stealing? I’m not sure, but I know I wouldn’t have trusted her with arsenic.

The storyline was okay, and it reminded me a little of Jane Eyre. Unfortunately this wasn’t as good as Jane Eyre though, and the pace was painfully slow. While I wanted to know what happened next, the pace just ruined this book for me, and I became desperate for the story to get a move on!
I did like the mystery over what was happening, and I also liked the brief bit of romance we got. There were a couple of sneaky things going on that were interesting, but again, the pace ruined this book. The interesting things that happened were so few and far between that the story dragged. This was the sort of book where you keep glancing at the page numbers, thinking ‘I must have read at least 50 pages!’ to find you have actually read 2.

The ending to this was a little obtuse. I have my theories as to what happened, but things weren’t exactly spelled out for the reader, leaving a bit of mystery remaining, which is a bit irritating.
Overall; an okay, but slow YA historical mystery story,
6.5 out of 10.

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