When Max Albrecht’s dying mother, Annabel Albrecht, wants to meet with him and explain why she’s been so distant with him, he isn’t sure what he should do. He and his mother had angry words the last time they met. Max’s mother has also asked him in her letter to find a boy she once knew when she was young – Oskar Edelstein. Little does he know that he’s begun a journey into the past that will bring up family secrets that he may be better off not knowing.
This is a well-constructed novel that sent chills up and down my spine and that’s saying something for me as I don’t scare easily. The book takes place mostly in the present with flashbacks to Annabel’s life as a young girl in Vienna. I had thought, due to the time period of the past being in the 1930’s, that the book would be centered on Nazism but it only lightly touches on that theme. The author does an excellent job of setting up a very spooky atmosphere and creating empathetic characters. I had thought the book was pretty much over at one point but it still held yet another surprise.
This book is a dark, tragic ghost story, a thriller, a mystery and a sad tale of the love of mothers all in one. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to reading more by this author. Since the book is so well written, I was surprised that the book is the author’s debut and that she started writing it while taking a writing course. She’s a natural and her first book well deserves the awards it’s received. She’s also generously donating 50% of the royalties from her book to Borne, a charity doing research into preventing death and disability in childbirth. Recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher through Smith Publicity in return for an honest review.