• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Pegasus (October 15, 2015)
The fall of 1957 was a seemingly idyllic, even prosperous, time down in southern Virginia. A young housewife, Charlotte Bliss, lives with her husband, “Press” Bliss, and their two young children, Eva Grace and Michael, in the gorgeous Bliss family home. On the surface, theirs seems a calm, picturesque life, but soon tragedy befalls them: four deaths, with seemingly simple explanations.
But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved.
Charlotte, nearly crippled with grief, feels more and more isolated from everyone around her. The only thing that brings her solace is going through the old photos and curiosities left behind by her mother-in-law. Then she makes a startling discovery that points not to tragedy, but to murder. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is?
Not for the faint of heart, or those disturbed by sexual situations and violence, Charlotte’s Story injects new levels of horror into the classic Southern gothic.
Praise for Charlotte’s Story
“Expertly paced revelations help build a sense of encroaching horror. A satisfyingly creepy tale for a rainy night.”--Publishers Weekly
“An evocative, frightening and flawless gothic, Charlotte’s Story is guaranteed to send a delicious chill down your spine. Nobody does more for the modern southern gothic than Laura Benedict.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of What Lies Behind
“Laura Benedict spins an ever-shifting web of shadow and light. A thrilling read. Benedict writes with passion and authority. Charlotte’s Story is not to be missed.” —Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries, and The Seeker
It's 1957 and Charlotte strives to be a woman and a wife of her time. Politeness was ingrained since her youth, but when tragedy strikes over and over, she can't help but break free to solve a rather complex and violent mystery that started with the recently deceased Mistress of Bliss House, her mother-in-law. Afterward, the death of Charlotte's daughter Eva begins to haunt her in a metaphysical and emotional sense. The author left very few crumbs for me to latch onto, so when the big twist hit, I was pleasantly surprised. Didn't see that coming!
There were some stunning descriptions that were unique and quite eloquent. I did find the whole first half to be really drawn out and repetitive when it came to character quirks, but once the paranoia sank in and Olivia's painful past is revealed I found myself quite addicted to the mystery that plagued Bliss House.
The ending was so worth the wait! And seeing Charlotte's paranoias manifest from thoughts to actions was like watching something from (and please excuse this old reference), a R.L. Stine novel from my youth...without the sex. The author classically, and brilliantly, isolated the main character and then let the Bliss Houses past, her suspicions, and the hauntings take it from there.
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