Clara is an aspiring play right and alcoholic with a controlling verging on abusive husband Scott who she is trying to away from. Easier said than done when he very much wants to control every aspect of her life and always have her by his side. However, when Scott's research takes him to England Clara has finally devised away to get away from him, at least for a awhile, while she stays out in the Country to work on her play while he gives his lectures elsewhere. Clara thinks that the Old Hall is the perfect place to get inspiration for the next play she is writing and one that will be featured in a Shakespeare festival. As Clara settles into her new home, she does not realize that the Old Hall has a lot more in store for her than letting her write her plays, it has more sinister plans for her and Scott.
This book was something a little bit different from what I normally read. I think Barrett was trying for a horror novel, but I think it was more creepy based than horror. This is not say that it was a bad read, but just missed the mark for a horror novel for me.
I felt sorry for Clara while reading her interactions with Scott. I personally wanted to jump into the book and kick his ass for the way he was treating her. You understand why Clara is depressed in her life and why she has turned to alcohol to make things "better". However, Clara has a shinning moment in the hope of writing an amazing play for a Shakespeare festival and she is trying to make sure that Scott and her alcoholism do not get in the way. You really cheer for Clara in this book. I liked the realism in her character and her fight to stay independent at all costs, as well as her fight on her growing dependence on alcohol, even though through out the book she is loosing more than one battle with the problems in her life as well as against the house.
I have mixed feelings as to how Barrett introduces what has happened in the house. On one side I do like how she just delves into the history as Clara watches, but on the other side I wish that it would have taken longer for this to happen and have more information come out in the creepy way like it did at the beginning (for example Clara tripping over blood on the floor that was not really there). I think that by delving into the history instead of it being uncovered bit by bit, the creepy aspect of the house diminishes. I think the beginning part was great where you get a taste of the history and you Know that something bad has happened there, I just wish that the horror or suspenseful parts of the house wanting to show Clara what occurred would have been consistent throughout the book.
Not going to lie this has some creepy moments and had me listening that much harder for strange noises occurring throughout my house, but I wish that Barrett would have stuck to this formula throughout the entire book. All in all it was a good read and I think that Barrett is an Indie Author to watch out for if you are looking for a more traditional bump in the night of a book. Once Barrett gets her stride in horror she will be a must read.