These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on August 9, 2022
The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich...or dead.
Helen Vaughan doesn't know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven't spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she's shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she'll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen's dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
These Fleeting Shadows is a young adult horror novel by Kate Alice Marshall. It is described as “The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.” Does that not sound like the best book mash up ever? The Haunting of Hill House is my favorite scary movie ever and Knives Out is another one of my movie favs, so to say I was super excited to read the summary for These Fleeting Shadows is the understatement of the century. This book lived up to everything I was expecting it to be. It was so much fun, spooky and kept me on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved it!
In These Fleeting Shadows, our main character Helen, inherited her family’s ancestral estate- called Harrow (even the estate name is spooky) from her grandfather. However; The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing. When Helen gets to Harrow, things start to really get interesting. Helen is starting to wonder if the nightmares she has been plagued with her whole life are somehow linked to Harrow. I absolutely loved trying to solve the mysteries of the house. That aspect of the story is very much like Hill house, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I am obsessed with a mysterious maze of a house that changes to try and hide its’ own secrets.
I will say this book was darker than I expected it to be. I was expecting creepy and spooky, but I wasn’t expecting some of the theme explored to be as dark as they were. It was all very well done. Be sure to check out the trigger warnings for the book before you dive in. (Content warnings include body horror, murder, gore, violence, abuse, misogyny, grief, references to sexual assault, experimentation, mutilation.) If you are a fan of haunted house stories, These Fleeting Shadows is one you do not want to miss. I loved this book! And it gets bonus diversity points for the sapphic romance.
P.S. If anyone knows of any other books, tv shows, movies like The Haunting of Hill House, I would love to hear it!
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