Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Charlotte Markham and the House of the Darkling by Michael Boccacino

Charlotte Markham and the House of the Darkling
by Michael Boccacino
296 pages
Personal Copy
Adult Fantasy/Crossover Appeal

Book Jacket Summary
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling--one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.

My Thoughts
James and Paul, Charlotte, Lily Darrow, Henry Darrow, Nanny Prum, The Ending, Mr. Whately, Olivia, Suzanna,
Can I just say that I love a gothic story about a governess and her charges. I devoured Victoria Holt and Barbra Michaels books when I was younger and I still love the genre. Boccacino adds an element of horror to the story with a wide cast of otherworldly creatures that are more than they appear.
Charlotte Markham is a young widow that has become the new governess to the Darrow boys, James and Paul who lost their mother only a few months prior. She is still grieving the loss of her husband and her parents and acutely feels the pain of her employer Mr. Henry Darrow. When one of the boys sets out to find an orchard where he dreamt his mother lived, Charlotte goes along to prove him wrong. Little does she know that Lily Darrow has made a deal to come back and be with her children.
Deals and threats are made to the creatures who can not die and Charlotte must find a way to protect her charges and get out alive.
This story sent chills down my spine whenever the characters went into the world known as The Ending because I just knew that something bad would happen! The gothic and horror flair makes this a great book for those who like either genre! I am handing it over to a co-worker who also loves this type of story and the friend who gave it as a Christmas gift. I do believe she said that she got it because it sounding very interesting. I teased that she got it because she wanted to read it and I never got a response. Hope Boccacino writes more books soon!  

Book Pairings
The White Forest by Adam McOmber
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart


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