Book Review: The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell

Haunting is the word that came to mind, from the moment I first saw the cover art for The Caretakers. Let it be known that first impressions are important, no matter what people prefer to believe. The contrast of a woman in yellow over the verdant green undergrowth, with mist hanging over the ghostly house, hints a brooding atmosphere.

I fell in love with the cover as much as this book, in case you couldn’t tell. As a former art student and current employee of a design studio, I have almost as much love for the outside of a novel as the inside. Speaking of the inside, a gorgeous cover does not equal a perfect book. I am pleased to report, that in this case, what you see barely scratches the surface of what you get. At the end of this post you’ll find yet another lovely giveaway, so be sure to read all the way through! Meanwhile, let’s dive into The Caretakers.

THE CARETAKERS

by ELIZA MAXWELL

Genre:  Psychological Thriller / Gothic Fiction / Sisters Fiction 

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: April 14, 2020

Number of Pages: 317

Scroll down for the giveaway!


Synopsis

In the isolated estate she’s found the perfect getaway. But there’s no escaping the past in this chilling novel from the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl.

Filmmaker Tessa Shepherd helped free a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned for murder. When he kills again, Tessa’s life is upended.

She’s reeling with guilt, her reputation destroyed. Worse, Tessa’s mother has unexpectedly passed away, and her sister, Margot, turns on her after tensions from their past escalate. Hounded by a bullying press, Tessa needs an escape. That’s when she learns of a strange inheritance bequeathed by her mother: a derelict and isolated estate known as Fallbrook. It seems like the perfect refuge.

A crumbling monument to a gruesome history, the mansion has been abandoned by all but two elderly sisters retained as caretakers. They are also guardians of all its mysteries. As the house starts revealing its dark secrets, Tessa must face her fears and right the wrongs of her past to save herself and her relationship with Margot. But nothing and no one at Fallbrook are what they seem. 


“Suspense fans will be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly

GRAB YOUR COPY AT

  Amazon    Barnes & Noble    IndieBound 

goodreads link

 


Review

5 of 5 Stars

How do you forgive the unforgivable, especially when the person who wronged you is your only family? The Caretakers seeks to answer this question and more, in this fantastically gothic novel by Eliza Maxwell.

The Caretakers opens with the end of a trial. A wrongly-accused man is finally finding justice for the crime he didn’t commit, thanks to filmmaker Tessa Shepard. It reads like the perfect ending to a suspenseful legal drama, with everyone free to live as happily as they may. Until the man Tessa saved murders again. Until her mother unexpectedly passes away, leaving Tessa and her estranged twin to pick up the pieces of an unfinished life. As she returns home in the midst of professional tragedy to face real personal tragedy, Tessa barely keeps it together. Her twin, Margot, used to be her rock, now they can barely look each other in the eye. In the end, Tessa retreats from everything, the media circus and what’s left of her family, to investigate the story behind the manor her mother left her. Along the way, she meets the caretakers, elderly sisters who hold the key to Tessa and Margot’s dark inheritance.

This is the first book I’ve read from Eliza Maxwell, now I’m officially a fan for life. Maxwell weaves atmosphere, character, and suspense seamlessly, so the reader truly experiences the many twists and turns of her narrative. Two compelling characters trade perspectives throughout this novel, Tessa, our heroine desperate to escape her present, and the caretaker, Kitty, unable to escape her past. I loved Kitty, to the point I was in tears by the end. Yet I wasn’t expecting to relate so much to Tessa Shepard. There are many times when Tessa is an unsympathetic heroine. She’s a little selfish, a little obsessive, and a lot self-recriminating. I often tread the fine line between love and hate when it came to Tessa’s journey because I understood her. I must confess that this book wrecked me to the point I had to put it away, and reflect on all the emotions The Caretakers brought to the surface. Yet through Maxwell’s writing, I came to understand a little more of myself and my journey outside the pages.

A study in parallels between past and future, hatred and forgiveness, truth and lies, The Caretakers delves deeper than your average suspense novel. It’s not always an easy read, but this book will truly make you think, and if you allow it, make you feel. Some books are like that, a catharsis for the characters as much as it is the reader.  

**I was provided with a copy of The Caretakers by the publisher and this is my voluntary and honest review.**


MEET ELIZA MAXWELL

Eliza Maxwell is the author of The Shadow Writer, The Widow’s Watcher, The Unremembered Girl, The Grave Tender, and The Kinfolk. She writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British-cop-drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee. For more information, visit http://www.elizamaxwell.net.

Goodreads ║ Facebook ║ BookBub ║ Website ║  Instagram ║ Amazon Author Page


GRAND GIVEAWAY

THREE WINNERS

ONE WINNER: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card

TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy 

APRIL 14-25, 2020

(U.S. Only)

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY


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