Review: The House on Seventh Street
I received a copy of The House on Seventh Street by Karen Vorbeck Williams in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley.
From the description and book cover I was intrigued. I have not read anything yet by this author so this is my first chance to do so.
I started reading the book and immediately realized it was not at all what I assumed.
The story, set in 1999 is told mostly through flashbacks along two timelines expertly weaved together.
The main character Winna is called back home after a family tragedy. Winna is tasked with settling the estate and getting the huge Edwardian mansion back to a sell-able state. Winna comes face to face with her own personal family issues in this story, in addition to all of the drama the House on Seventh Street is about to unleash on her. At first the memories and feel of the house are too much for her but then as she goes through the old house, every turn, every object has a story to tell. There are old love letters, valuable jewels in odd places and a love story that offers as much mystery as it does intrigue.
Winna has to try to figure out fact from fiction with some scary moments along the way.
Through all of this Winna shares these stories and memories with her daughter and tries to reconnect with her sister Chloe. who is a flighty bird of a different color having even the characters in the book wonder if they are truly sisters. The book churns up past hurts and the struggle to find happy memories.
We learn of her grandmother Julianna who may not be quite the woman everyone thought she was. Winna's high school sweetheart comes back into the picture and stirs old feelings which seem to be a welcome distraction in the midst of all the things going on. The story kind of mulls along at a leisurely pace and then picks up some steam about half way through. It's a story that tells the lives and possibly, lies, of three generations of families. You have to be the judge of that.
My two cents
The author does a fantastic job of making you feel Winna's insecurities and having you wonder who truly may be out to get her. The story is solid and filled with moderate action and suspense. Although there were moments when I was able to feel for Winna, I did not feel drawn into the story at any point. I felt more like an outsider looking in, which is not always a bad thing. Parts of the story are like an exciting treasure hunt. I liked the backstory lines. Unfortunately, the story as a whole never really grabbed me. I found myself struggling a little to finish the book. I would still recommend reading it because the end has a nice little payoff.
I give the book 4 stars
The House on Seventh Street by Karen Vorbeck Williams available on Amazon