Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood published by Harper Voyager. If you like your novel’s Victorian, gothic, with more than a hint of the unexplained then this novel is for you.
Eleanor lives in a grand London house, slowly sinking into decay and despair as it’s master,Mr Pembroke, drinks away his fortune. And the house is not the only thing brought low by his behaviour.
Eleanor, once the much loved ward of the late Mrs Pembroke, has been put to work as a maid since her death. Iron beds and kitchen suppers have taken the place of silk sheets and fine dining. Even Eleanor’s name has been reduced to Ella. Her days are spent cooking, cleaning and along with the other maids evading the sinister and unwelcome attentions of Mr Pembroke.
Her only comfort is found after dark, in her late night and clandestine trips to the house’s great library. Here, after hours, Eleanor loses herself in works of fiction, is transported to times and places far away. But one night the books open up a world that Eleanor could never have dreamed existed.
When Eleanor’s reading summons a strange dark eyed woman, her world changes and forces she never imagined begin to weave their way through her destiny. The woman offers her the chance to make seven wishes; wishes that could take her away from her life and give her everything she has ever dreamed of.
But there is a price to pay. With the granting of the seventh wish this strange Fairy Godnother will take her fee. She will claim Eleanor’s soul.
And so begins our tale. A tale of poverty and desperation, of the terrible price that must be paid by someone, somewhere when ever a wish is made and granted. Of what it will cost Eleanor to live the life she feels is her due.
This is prose dripping with the gothic, it’s Victorian setting providing the perfect backdrop to this dark version of the Cinderella story.
Through the choices of Eleanor and the consequences these choices bring we see the subtle changes of circumstances and character. How what was unthinkable at the beginning of Eleanor’s story slowly becomes necessary and commonplace.
This is tale of creeping horror, tantalising, drawing you into it’s web of the fantastic and macabre. With Eleanor’s twists and turns of fortunes, there is a sense of time ticking by, in which the race to escape your fate is futile.
This is book is perfect for fans of gothic literature with just a hint of magic and madness!
And there is more…
For more reviews and reactions to The Shadow in the Glass check out the rest of the blog tour below…