From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   Torgovnick, Kate: Cheer!  
  Next post:   Levine, Paul: Illegal  


Mackesy, Serena: Hold My Hand

  Amazon  

5 stars

There's something not quite right about Rospetroc, the old Blakemore place in Cornwall. Something to do with evacuees during the War--the locals aren't quite sure--and the crazy old lady who lived there with her son, whom no one quite trusted. The current generation of the family has never wanted to live in the place themselves, so they rent it out to honeymooners and the like who are looking for local color. But help is hard to find and harder to keep: inevitably the maids are scared off by the creepy things that go on in the house, or they just aren't able to handle the isolation of the place when there aren't any guests. But despite its drawbacks the job offers salvation for Bridget Sweeny and her six-year-old daughter Yasmin--from poverty and, more importantly, from Bridget's ex-husband, whose angelic looks belie his character. The restraining order she has against him is meaningless in the middle of the night when he's drunk and trying to kick the door down to get at them.

Mackesey's account of what happens at Rospetroc once Bridget and Yasmin move in is intertwined with the story of what happened there during the War, when the Blakemores were forced to take in children from the city, including the unlovely, nit-infested Lily Rickets. Both stories are brilliantly told. The characters are all well-developed. There's nothing to fault in the prose. The story is downright chilling. Hold My Hand is a nearly perfect piece of fiction. The only complaint I have is that the ending is anticlimactic. The suspenseful final confrontation for which the rest of the book has been preparing is finished with too quickly. (One can foresee on the whole how things are going to work out in the end, but I didn't mind that. The problem is that the ending is not as good as the one we've been led to expect.) Mackesey could have milked a lot more terror out of her final pages. Still, the book is highly recommended.

 

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In