I will be straightforward with you all, this is a time where I judged a book by its cover and I am SO glad that I did. I picked this book up because it looked spooky and I hadn’t read a creepy book in a while, so having never heard of this book I decided to give it a shot based solely on the cover. I honestly LOVED this book, I read it in just a few hours and it was great! This book not only has elements of spooky-ness but there is also a heavy base in history which is new for me. Usually I shy away from historical fiction, but this book makes me want to give more historical fiction a shot. Maybe it is just because this book seamlessly wove the historical and the supernatural together that I enjoyed it, it honestly was not like reading a historical book at all.
This story takes place in the early 1900’s in Portland, Oregon. Olivia Mead is the daughter of the town dentist, who honestly most people are afraid of because he is always smiling as he is pulling his patients teeth like he enjoys it. She believes that there is noting particularly spectacular about herself, however after going to see Henri Reverie, a hypnotist show, on her 17th birthday everything changes. Her father hears that she was susceptible to the hypnotism at the show so he hires Henri, the hypnotist, to try and “fix” Olivia. However what was wrong with Olivia was that she was opinionated and she believed that women should have the right to vote. Henri hypnotizes Olivia so that she can see the world for what it really is, and that she will say “all is well” when she is angry or upset. Once she is brought out of the trance she see people differently, for example her father looks like a monster, some people look transparent like ghosts, and others look like they are filled with beautiful light. This is naturally terrifying for Olivia, and not being able to express herself becomes infuriating. She tries to appeal to Henri, and in doing so she learns much about him, his family, and his past. Everything becomes even more intense when Olivia’s father has her hypnotized again. But what he doesn’t know is that Henri and Oliva have become partners of sorts and they have something big planned for anti suffragists in their area.
The characters in this book are incredibly detailed, and even though there are elements of the supernatural, the main characters feel very real and relatable. I mean at the end of the day Henri is a boy struggling to support his family, and Olivia just wants to be free to make choices on her own. Another element in this book that I enjoyed was the historical pictures placed strategically in the book. This offered a great reference as to what the people would have looked like during this time period. Also the author took the time to include an accurate historical timeline for women’s suffrage in the United States as well as a bibliography of other books to read.
As stated before this book does blur the lines between historical reality and the supernatural, which will be enjoyable for some readers like myself. But some readers will not enjoy this type of story.
I would give this book a 5 for quality, and a 2 for popularity. With a little push I believe that this book would become far more popular amongst readers. So overall this book gets a 7 out of 10 from me.
Not to shabby for a book that I just picked up because it has a pretty cover.
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Just a BTW: I am in no way affiliated with this author or publishing house. I was not compensated for this post/review, and all opinions are my own. I am just a fan sharing my experiences with all of you.