It’s been over a year since my coworker recommended The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to us at one of our monthly journal club meetings. As with other books she’s recommended in the past, I added it to my to-read list with a grain of salt – some of the books that she’s loved I struggled to get through due to a difference in what we enjoy reading.
Probably one of the more noteworthy pieces of this book is the characters themselves when joined with the question of “why are they in this situation?”. Aiden spends a good chunk of the book seeming to be a good guy, wanting to make decisions that will save Evelyn and Anna. Then, we find out why he is stuck in the loop that he’s in — revenge. He wanted to make sure that Anna went to prison for what she did and that she stayed there. The only reason that Aiden has a leg up on Anna (and his other competitor) is that he has been given more of a fighting chance, this includes someone trying to figure out the best order of hosts for him to inhabit.
I really enjoyed the idea that wrong doers were being set to solve unsolved murders and that that was how they were being rehabilitated. Having recently finished the novella series Legion, the idea that you could be imprisoned in a way that helps you become better is interesting (although, I will admit that this version is more positive when compared to Legion).
All in all, I really enjoyed watching Aiden take on different personality traits and try to keep them organized while also trying to remember who he is. This book was a fun read, one I would recommend to anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it yet.
For October, we’ll take a journey back to the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses to see it recreated in a more gothic setting. Perhaps House of Salt and Sorrows will leave me daydreaming of secret forests and jumping at twigs breaking in a way that I didn’t when I first read the original story as a child.
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.