We know October is still a few months away, but that won’t stop us from getting in the Halloween spirit! If you’re looking for your next spooky novel, look no further! We at THP have some of the best book recs for any occasion. And today, we’re reviewing These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall.
This novel has great suspense paired with a winding plot that will make you question the chapters you previously read. Here are three reasons why you should make These Fleeting Shadows your next thriller!
Content Warnings: graphic depictions of violence, death, gore (Read at your discretion!)
Summary: The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night? And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
The Descriptive Language
We admit that we felt a little nervous to start this novel because we get too easily scared. But as long as you stick to reading in the daytime, you should be fine! (That’s what we did.) And even though there are several graphic depictions of violence and death, we were more interested than scared by it! Marshall uses the right amount of detail to establish the spooky hallways and the unknown parts of the woods. They capture our attention with ease, bringing us into the story and experiencing Helen’s dreams and sickness alongside her.
The Plot Twists
The cover of These Fleeting Shadows says this: “I promise to tell the truth. But first, I have to lie.” And let us tell you, we did not expect the lie to be as elaborate as it was! The secrets of Helen’s identity, her extended family’s schemes, and the stories of missing girls keep us on our toes until the very end. There are several plot twists that make us want to reread the book and see the moments that got us. And the author does a fantastic job of clarifying the plot twists and referencing how it all started.
The Gothic Elements
If you’re fans of Gothic fiction, you’ll love Kate Alice Marshall’s These Fleeting Shadows! The protagonist Helen goes through several instances of abjection where she’s unable to separate herself from her version of the other. Monsters take on multiple forms. Harrow is a fitting version of the Gothic house with all its secrets and curses, both physical and mental. These elements make the entire story cohesive, and they’re just one part of why we’d recommend this book.
These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall is out August 9th and is available for preorder here!
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