Parting The Veil was so captivating, I could not stop reading.
The ending is so phenomenally tense and brimming with mind-blowing twists, I felt GLUED to the page. This blend of gothic romance mixed with thriller, with paranormal/horror elements, was just utterly delicious and perfectly written. We get the mystery, the romance of passionate and darkness, the ghosts and the haunting family secrets. It’s ALL here and so good 😭 It’s the kind of book you go, “one more chapter” and then suddenly it’s FIVE chapters and you can’t stop reading because there’s another twist about to hit you and you need !! to know !! more!!
Eliza Sullivan is our narrator and oh! How easy it is to adore her. She’s an American heiress, newly moved to the English countryside to claim her late aunt’s fortune — but there’s a clause that says she must marry if she wants to keep the estates. I loved that Eliza’s intent was to raise horses and being a rich spinster quite happily. Until this clause showed up. She’s outrunning some traumas from her past, so she views England as her “fresh start”. Until she falls head-over-heels for the mysterious Malcolm Winfield, neighbour of a crumbling nearby gothic estate, who is haunted by dark rumours after the death of his family in a fire.
Eliza is fierce and unapologetic, super honest, and also an absolutely lovely soul. She also has a really close relationship with her half-sister, Lydia (who is biracial Haitian/Irish), and okay but I ADORED Lydia so much too!! She’s so pragmatic and sensible and will protect Eliza like nothing else. They also are fiercely loyal to each other, and Eliza makes sure Lydia is respected. Perfect sisters are perfect 😭💛 Also Eliza is queer, and her first love was her harpist teacher, second love was a stable boy, and third love is Malcolm…who is a dark-haired, smouldering, beautiful disaster too. So Eliza has a TYPE and that is: the one everyone said she should not have. 😂
“No, ma chère – we were only outside for a few moments, but he was more charming than I expected – and wickedly attractive in an eccentric sort of way.”
Lydia gave her a stern look. “Of course you’d fall for the scandalous one. You read far too many novels.”
So with the blurb saying “is Malcolm man or monster” I knew the relationship would not be…as it seemed. And they married so fast and I was 😭 so worried for Eliza. I just wanted her to have a nice life.
The second she moves into Havenwood manor the secrets begin to appear. And they are DARK and twisted. And they just keep coming. If you want a book that deftly layers plot twists, generational secrets and traumas, amongst beautiful writing and captivating characters — this is IT. Malcolm was fascinating to read (IS HE MAN OR MONSTER!!!! it is so hard to tell) and once I hit 50% I guessed one of the twists and ended up shrieking internally. By that point, I couldn’t stop reading till I had answers.
So let me just say, the ending will TOSS your brain around and I loved that.
I so enjoyed the writing voice and style! Plus there are spooky scenes, and the tension was captured with chilling precision. Also the whole way through I was thinking this would make a phenomenal movie. (LISTEN UP, NETFLIX.) It’s an aesthetic delight: the crumbling mansion and rolling fields, the gorgeous gowns and balls, the lurking midnight horrors. Adored this.
I also truly enjoyed how unapologetically queer the book was. From Eliza to several of the secondary characters (I loved Sarah!! Also the way she and her husband were both queer, just not for each other, so they married to keep people out of their business 😌👌🏻) We love to see the historical gays thriving.
“Houses have a certain power, don’t you think? Almost as if they’re people – or perhaps characters in a play.”
Darkly gorgeous, that will ruin you with a riot of emotions, Parting The Veil is every inch the decadent gothic romantic masterpiece it promises to be. Lovely, sinister, shocking and enthralling.
Head over to my instagram for the giveaway too! And I have an interview with the lovely author below!
Some houses hold secrets that are meant to be kept forever…
When Eliza Sullivan inherits an estate from a recently deceased aunt, she leaves behind a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans for rural England and a fresh start. Eliza arrives at her new home and finds herself falling for the mysterious lord of Havenwood, Malcolm Winfield. Despite the sinister rumors that surround him, Eliza is drawn to his melancholy charm and his crumbling, once-beautiful mansion. With enough love, she thinks, both man and manor could be repaired.
Not long into their marriage, Eliza fears that she should have listened to the locals. There’s something terribly wrong at Havenwood Manor: Forbidden rooms. Ghostly whispers in the shadows. Strangely guarded servants. And Malcolm’s threatening moods, as changeable as night and day.
As Eliza delves deeper into Malcolm’s troubling history, the dark secrets she unearths gain a frightening power. Has she married a man or a monster? For Eliza, uncovering the truth will either save her or destroy her.
Originally from the Missouri Ozarks, Paulette Kennedy now lives with her family in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles. When she’s not writing or homeschooling her daughter, she enjoys tending to her garden, knitting, and finding unique vintage treasures at thrift stores and flea markets. As a history lover, she can get lost for days in her research—learning everything she can about the places in her stories and the experiences her characters might have had in the past. This dedication to research infuses her world-building with realistic detail and creates a cinematic, immersive experience for the reader. Paulette’s current work-in-progress is a witchy southern gothic set in rural Northern Arkansas during the Great Depression.
I initially had the idea for Parting The Veil after a dream I had about a half-ruined mansion that seemed to hold some sort of foreboding, dark energy. It was the kind of dream that lingered in my memory, which is rare for me. I was also reading a biography at the time about Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill’s American mother, and that led to my researching “dollar princesses” of the Gilded Age. I felt as if one of these American heiresses would make the perfect gothic heroine, and that set me on the path to my plot.
Eliza is a headstrong, yet soft-hearted young woman who comes to England to gain her inheritance and claim a fresh start after a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans. She has a lot of modern sensibilities that shock her contemporaries, but I firmly based her character on many real-life American heiresses whose stories include some pretty outrageous truths! It’s often the case with historical fiction that facts are sometimes more unbelievable than fiction. Look up Clara Ward–there’s a lot of Clara in Eliza. Women haven’t changed that much over the centuries. We’ve always wanted independence and a say in our lives–but we’ve often had to play clever and coy to survive patriarchal constraints. Eliza is a historical heroine that I hope modern women can relate to.
Research and revisions. I love research because I get to learn so many unexpected things that often lead to some pretty great story elements. Revisions are where I get to hone and polish the story I’m telling, and I much prefer revising to drafting.
Definitely in agreement there. The sisters’ love and fierce protection of each other was beautiful 🥺 Now if you inherited a beautiful, mysterious mansion like Havenwood, what’s the first thing you would do when you arrived?
Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a paperback copy of Parting the Veil! Ends on October 30th, 2021. Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter & contacted via email by MTMC.
MTMC TOURS Schedule
@paperfury – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@leahslittlepleasures – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@thereaderandthechef – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@heyhelene14 – Bookstagram
@mommaleighellensbooknook – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@gcreads04 – Bookstagram
@dbookishprincess – Bookstagram
@sophiesreadingcorner – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@book_withquotes – Bookstagram + Book Blog
@thesunbooks – Bookstagram