Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Evening Spider by Emily Arsenault

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm kicking off the TLC book tour for Emily Arsenault's latest, The Evening Spider.

Abby is a new mom with time on her hands. When she first hears the strange noise through her baby monitor, she's quick to attribute it to anything and everything she can. Anything but a ghost, that is. But after eliminating the possibilities, she begins to wonder. 

A history teacher, Abby was charmed by the fact that their house dated back over a century. What's more, the house had been in the same family for much of that time before she and her husband bought it. But now she wonders about the house and the people who lived there. Is it possible that one of them, someone from long ago, never truly left?

I do so love Emily Arsenault's work. She's one of those authors whose new releases will always end up on my must have list! Her stories always have elements of mystery and suspense, but this one is a little different in that it's part historical fiction and part ghost story as well.

Arsenault talks about how stumbling over the very real murder of Mary Stannard inspired part of this story. The Stannard trial is one her other lead character, Frances Barnett, follows in her own day. Abby learns of Frances (and the case) via a journal found in the home years before. But the reader learns of Frances through flashbacks as well - from her time in a mental asylum.

Throughout the story there are really two burning questions: is Frances haunting the house and, if so, what is her intention? The ghost seems to soothe baby Lucy but the first occurrence of the noise is also linked to a mysterious bruise, the first of many, that appears on the child.

Abby is a little off. She's experienced trauma in her past - the second chapter of the book is her discovery of her dead roommate in college! That story is just one of the threads that runs through Abby's part of the book.

As for Frances, the reader isn't quite clear about why she's been institutionalized.

There are a lot of parallels between Frances and Abby and it's easy to sympathize with them both. In them, Arsenault has built two very strong characters whose tales are undeniably gripping. Nineteenth century crime, the treatment of mental illness, and post partum depression are all featured in the book as well, all coming together in yet another thrilling puzzle of a read from Arsenault!

Rating: 4/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Emily Arsenault and her work you can check out her website here. You can also like her on Facebook.

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble


aparajita said...

I haven't read anything of this author so a little clueless as to what is happening here but the premise of the story sounds amazing.

Thanks for sharing your review :)
Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

Kay said...

I haven't read any books by this author, though I've certainly been aware of her. This book though - looks right down my alley. And I'll be reading it for sure.

Literary Feline said...

This was my first book by Arsenault, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I am glad to hear you've enjoyed her other books as well!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Wow, this book sounds right up my alley - maybe it will be the one to get me out of my current reading rut!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.