Inheriting Her Ghosts: S.H. Cooper
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
Inheriting Her Ghosts, a story that terrified and left me feeling contented in equal measure. A gothic horror story that screamed with Shirley Jackson’s influences and this was just a palpitatingly compulsive ride back in time. The world of books often brings us our new favourites but conversely, a lot come and go without making any long-term impact. Cooper has created a new favourite, images etched on the brain, a masterpiece that time forgot, but discovered anew. I loved everything about this story.
“Hurt lives in High Hearth. The kind of hurt that doesn’t go away with prettied words and empty gestures. Staining its grounds, tainting its foundation, rooting itself deeply.”
Inheriting Her Ghosts is like perfecting the perfect recipe. You need the special ingredients that will blow your senses away, you need the skill needed to bring the vision to life and you need love. The narrative is tight and executed with clarity and precision. Once you read that first chapter, be fully prepared to not stop reading until that final word has been digested. I craved Cooper’s every word, I was hypnotized with her magic.
The story features my favourite kind of protagonist, a strong-willed, independent woman, Eudora Fellowes. This woman takes no prisoners and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She also has two massive dogs, the relationship between the three was unbreakable and added another dimension to an already impressive landscape. She has become the only next of kin of her deceased great-aunt, who has left her entire estate to Eudora, including a large residence, High Hearth. The story takes place in Victorian England and it just hit perfectly just why I love gothic horror so much.
Inheriting Her Ghosts is set in a time where propriety in a woman is the expected thing. To hell with that, if a woman wishes not to wed and or have children they should be free to make that decision as they see fit. I loved the scene where she shocks the solicitor by wearing trousers…be still my beating heart…trousers… a devil worshipper! She is most defiantly who I want to be when I grow up. There will be no yes dear, no dear from Eudora, thank you very much.
High Hearth is fascinating. Eudora feels very much at home here but quickly she realizes that something is very wrong within the walls. The dogs aren’t settled, she feels things watching her, and very quickly something lets her presence be known. Has her great-aunt left more than a few secrets behind? Just what is behind the door that has reminded locked without a key to be found? Just why do the villagers hate anything to do with her Aunt?
Inheriting Her Ghosts is superbly executed. The writing and characterization deeply resonate with that gothic Victorian era, with a powerful presence of the afterlife.
Inheritance often comes with strings attached, but rarely are they as tangled as those hanging over High Hearth.
When Eudora Fellowes learns she’s the sole heir of her estranged great-aunt’s seaside manor, she believes it will be the peaceful escape she’s longed for. What awaits, however, is a dark legacy shrouded in half a century of secrets, and it doesn’t take long before Eudora realizes she’s not the only one to call High Hearth home.
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
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