Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.
A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.
As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?
I was surprised at how this book sucked me in considering that the topics of ghosts are not something I would gravitate to.
The history with mental institutions, family issues and all that, takes this barely from three stars to four. I loved that the author was not afraid to address the reality of what they did to people that struggled with mental illnesses.
I also thought it was wonderful how she had the comparison with someone struggling with anxiety and another that was autistic in modern times, and what they faced as well. For those of you where you will not read a book because of the mention of ghosts, know that there is nothing that you would have an issue with in the end here.
The spiritual message is strong in this story and kept me up reading past my bedtime!