Shadow Hour-Kate Riordan
At the behest of her grandmother, Grace goes to Fenix House to also be a governess to the Pembertons. However, not all is how she expected nor how it seems.
An enjoying atmospheric historical fiction to curl up with. Riordan has an enjoyable prose style and manages to rope in the period specific movements (like suffrage) despite the rural/manor setting in a way that felt quite natural. The novel is a bit darker than I expected at its start-it's not just that Grace discovers that her grandmother embroidered the truth, it's the truth that ends up being quite fascinating. The ending was well handled but hits on a pet peeve of mine. I will not be sharing it as it is a spoiler but despite my personal annoyance at it, it suits the book and so I wouldn't actually change it. My main issue with this book however is the sheer amount of coincidences and the utterly slow pace in the middle. The beginning and ending are well paced but for a 500 page book, the middle was tough going sometimes.
Then there was the utterly nagging deja vu feeling I felt while reading it. I actually, during the dragging bits in the middle, got sidetracked into researching exactly who Kate Riordan was, whether I'd read anything by her before, and I learned that yes. I had. The Girl in the Photograph. I was not imagining the similarities. If you liked Girl in the Photograph, you might enjoy Shadow Hour or you may, like me, find yourself comparing them. I felt that the dual narrative style worked better in the Girl in the Photograph because Shadow Hour had far too many coincidences (the pet peeve I have about dual narratives) but the atmosphere of Shadow Hour is just as good.