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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Grange House by Sarah Blake

Grange House - Sarah Blake

What the hell did I just read?


Gird your loins, the rant train is chug, chug, chugging out of the station. Also, spoiler warning, wut.


Let me begin this review by saying that this book had potential for, if not greatness, at least a high degree of entertainment. Remote, fading grandeur in the north woods, ghosts, gothic awesomeness, frozen lovers pulled from an unforgiving sea.


Yeah, the execution? Not so much. I actually don't know how the whole frozen lovers thing ended because I skipped about 30% of this book because the main character, Maisie, was such a fucking annoying whiny brat that she made Gwenwyfhar look like a perfectly reasonable character, with fortitude and backbone to spare.


I still couldn't really tell you what this book is - so I'll just tell you the end because you do not want to read this book. Spoiler coming. Is it still a spoiler if what I'm spoiling is this stupid?


Maisie's father, Thomas Ludlow,  had an affair with Nell Grange when he was engaged to her mother. Nell gets knocked up, but sort of loses her mind and goes into a Victorian decline. Then, Thomas goes back to Boston where he takes right back up with his fiancee, Libby and marries her. Nell gives birth and Nell's sister, Susannah, rescues the baby from crazy Nell, who is going to bury her alive, for no apparent reason whatsoever. In a "twist," (you've probably already figured this out), Libby is apparently having some sort of a hysterical pregnancy, and Susannah sends a letter to Thomas to come get the baby, which is totally convenient because then NEITHER NELL NOR LIBBY know that Maisie is actually Nell's baby, not Libby's baby. When Maisie learns all of this, she gets all emo and shit about Nell, because Nell has just died, and she completely ignores her mother, who is in the process of dying, and mopes around about not having a name and not knowing who she is.


Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? This may be the worst fucking plot device ever invented. 


Do not read this book.


The mid-point (46%):


I'm afraid that I probably should've paid more attention to the reviews, which were not great. The first bit of this one was good, but now we've moved into a really slow phase where there is absolutely NOTHING about the two drowned lovers, nor has there been since about page 30. 


I'm bogged down in an old diary at this point. That has nothing to do with the two drowned lovers. Maisie is back in Boston, mourning her father and being generally boring.


I'm going to read to 50%, and if it doesn't pick up, I'm seriously considering just skipping to the end and then calling it a DNF.




I decided to read this one for my "gothic" square!


Maisie Thomas spends every summer at Grange House, a hotel on the coast of Maine ruled by the elegant Miss Grange. In 1896, when Maisie turns 17, her visit marks a turning point. On the morning after her arrival, local fishermen make a gruesome discovery: drowned lovers, found clasped in each other's arms. It's only the first in a series of events that casts a shadow over Maisie's summer. As she considers the attentions of two very different young men, Maisie also falls under the gaze of Miss Grange, who begins to tell her disturbing stories of her past. Rich with the details, customs, and language of the era, Grange House is a wonderfully atmospheric, page-turning novel of literary suspense and romance.


Sounds good!