Happy Thursday! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review, but I couldn’t resist sharing The Premonition at Withers Farm. Jamie Jo Wright is a new-to-me-author. I discovered this book on NetGalley, and am now a diehard fan of the author. The moment I finished reading it, I subscribed to her newsletter, ordered another title from her back catalog in Kindle, and bought Premonition in paperback.This book ranks among my top reads of the year, if not my favorite to date. An easy five glowing stars from me.
Check it out!
The voices of the past cannot stay silent forever.
In 1910 Michigan, Perliett Van Hilton is a self-proclaimed rural healer, leaving the local doctor convinced she practices quackery. It doesn’t help that her mother is a spiritualist who regularly offers her services to connect the living with their dearly departed. But when Perliett is targeted by a superstitious killer, she must rely on both the local doctor and an intriguing newcomer for assistance.
In the present day, Molly Wasziak’s life has not gone the way she dreamed. Facing depression after several miscarriages, Molly is adapting to her husband’s purchase of a peculiar old farm. A search for a family tree pulls Molly deep into a century-old murder case and a web of deception, all made more mysterious by the disturbing shadows and sounds inside the farmhouse.
Perliett fights for her life, and Molly seeks renewed purpose for hers as she uncovers the records of the dead. Will their voices be heard, or will time forever silence their truths?
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for my ARC.
Wow, W-O-W, WOW!!!! I was totally unfamiliar with author, Jamie Jo Wright, but I am now an avid fan. I requested an ARC of this title because I’m addicted to dual timeline mysteries, and I loved the idea of the early twentieth century setting (for the past timeline) and the hint of spiritualism woven into the plot. Although the start (in the present timeline) was a little bleak, it didn’t take long for plot and characters (in both timelines) to grab me. It got to the point, I couldn’t flip pages fast enough and was annoyed when interruptions drew me from the book.
In the present, Molly Wasziak and her husband buy an old property known as Withers Farm. Neither are in a good place, going through the motions of marriage but behaving more like strangers. Molly has experienced several miscarriages leaving her haunted by children who might have been, her husband unsure how to combat her lingering depression. Both hope moving to the farmhouse will be a new start for them.
But when a distant relation, who was investigating members of the Wasziak family tree, is murdered near their property, Molly dives into the past—specifically 1910, when a killer known as the Cornfield Ripper claimed the lives of two young women with connections to Withers Farm.
With alternating timelines, building past and present mysteries, the story held me spellbound. It’s hard to say which timeline I enjoyed better. In the past, Perilett Van Hilton, is a rural healer whose mother is an in-demand spiritualist. Perilett is a strong, determined woman though not without doubts about her mother’s vocation. She’s engaged in a test of wills with the local doctor, George Wasziak, who accuses her of quackery. He and another (mysterious) gentleman, had me waffling back and forth as to their motives. All the characterizations are exquisite, though I was particularly enamored of those in the past.
Goosebumps abound! From the descriptions of carriage rides and nighttime walks on country roads lined by towering corn stalks, to the eerie use of the nursery rhyme Cock Robin, my skin prickled. In the present, every time Molly ventured into the basement—built with gravestones, no less—I held my breath. When the tension grew too strong, I could always count on the diversion of Molly’s chicks and chickens to warm my heart. I fell in love with those birds!
This is a superb book, among my top reads of the year, if not, my favorite to date. After finishing, I immediately looked up the author, signed up for her newsletter, and ordered more of her previous books. I can’t recommend The Premonition at Withers Farm highly enough. Thank you again to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for my ARC. I couldn’t put this one down!
The Premonition at Withers Farm is available now.
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