Review: These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall

I am thrilled to be a part of the TBR and Beyond book tour for These Fleeting Shadows. Check out the full schedule here!

Synopsis

The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.

Helen Vaughan doesn’t known why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything–the house, the grounds, and the money–to her. The inheritance comes with on condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.

There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams–and now those dreams have become a walking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night? And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?

Which each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.

Content Warning: Harm to children/death of children– non-graphic and not on the page, but prevalent in backstory & plot, Death & dying, Body horror (surreal, not gory), Violence (against MC & others), Alcoholism (not a main character), Discussion of a lobotomy performed in the 1800s.

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My Thoughts

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite books, and I am always on the hunt for a book that delivers the same fright. These Fleeting Shadows does just that! These Fleeting Shadows is my first book by Marshall, but it will not be my last. I have read some amazing titles this year, but this one is definitely in the running for one of my favorite reads this year.

From the first few pages, I was hooked. The writing is captivating, even when I was not exactly sure what was happening, I could not stop reading. Helen sees things others don’t and has vivid dreams of her family’s estate. Quickly you are thrown into the bizarre reality that Helen lives. Marshall crafted a world that is dark and complex. Helen is haunted and guided by unsettling visions, dreams, and voices that seem to push her to discover the truth of Harrow and what lies at the center of its halls. Helen is not alone in her year stay at Harrow; she has her cousins Celia and Desmond and Bryony, a witch. With their help, Helen learns of the unsettling history of missing girls. The more Helen learns, the sicker she becomes. While Helen is the main character, Harrow acts as a character as well. The estate has a murky history that haunts the grounds and those who live there.

I loved every minute of this twisting novel! There are some dark themes, but they add depth to the story, leaving the reader things to ponder as they explore Helen’s journey. Between the strange images, Helene sees, the voices she hears, and the haunting atmosphere/history of Harrow, These Fleeting Shadows makes the perfect fall read. If you enjoy horror, gothic horror, YA spooks, or just an excellent chilling read, look no further than These Fleeting Shadows.

Favorite Quotes:

Harrow waits,’ a hoarse male voice croaked by my ear as my fear juddered through me.

There are no ghost at Harrow. My mother had said that, too.

Be Helen. Collector of bones. Rachel’s daughter. Loner, Awkward.

About the Author

Kate Alice Marshall is the author of young adult and middle grade novels, including I AM STILL ALIVE, RULES FOR VANISHING, and THIRTEEN.

She lives outside of Seattle which her husband, two dogs named Vonnegut and Octavia, and two kids. They all conspire to keep her on her toes.

Author Website Twitter Instagram Goodreads

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