Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Me on The Gilded Cage

Title: The Gilded Cage
Author: Lucinda Gray
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers (Macmillan imprint)

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper-class England in the 1820s, is shattered when her brother mysteriously drowns. Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident. A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There's a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham. Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother's killer claim her life, too?

The Gilded Cage is a cold, deadly mystery, one centered around an expansive country estate and those who live there. Is there something haunting the house, stalking its prey, or is it all coincidence and accidents?

Katherine is a simple country girl turned heiress to an English country estate. In this new world of ballrooms and status, she's lost, trying to find herself when she's caught between the hard farm life she once lived and the privileged life she now leads. She cannot see the point in wearing nice clothes, in pleasing the eyes of strangers in order to keep them from gossiping, when she's only just arrived, when they know nothing about her. When her brother has died so suddenly. Katherine is certain it was no accident, and she will not rest until she learns the truth.

I found that the wintry setting, the ice in the water and the chill in the air, added to the mystery. Something external and unavoidable seeping into something rather internal and secretive. It adds to the story, makes the location seem even more dangerous.

This is certainly a chilling mystery, a tale of secrets and death and suspicion, but that's it. I expected something more from the gothic aspect, something more intangible and impossible, but it never appeared. Katherine certainly stands out as someone not from the same time and place as the others, as her cousins Grace and Henry or her new friend Jane. Her bold, brash, searching for the truth unsettled a number of characters. They were not expecting someone like her to constantly ask questions and hunt out answers. Her character and her determination were the only things that kept me reading, everyone else seemed uninteresting. Those looking for a quick read, for a mystery with a few twists and turns, might want to check this book out.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

No comments:

Post a Comment