Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: All I Want, by Darcey Bell {ends 1/12}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

It’s a beautiful fall. Emma falls in love with each tree, as she watches them turn, leaf by leaf, from red to orange to yellow to brown. She loves the flat, perfect blue of the sky against the brilliant leaves. She wishes she had someone to talk to, just to say, “Look at that!” She says it to the baby, but that feels silly and sad.

One afternoon, in the supermarket, a middle-aged woman with curly gray hair tucked under a bright blue baseball cap accidentally crashes her cart into Emma’s, and when she stops apologizing, the woman does a double take and says, “Emma! How are you?”

Emma has no idea who she is, but it’s pleasant hearing someone say her name, meeting a friendly face. She plays along. The woman’s name – or who she is – will come to her sooner or later. 

As Emma spends more time alone at the house she and her husband bought, she learns more about its creepy past, and more coincidences between her life, and lives that may have taken place here before hers.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: All I Want, by Darcey Bell {ends 1/12}
When Emma’s husband, Ben, falls in love with a large Victorian mansion for sale in upstate New York, he swears to her the fixer-upper will be worth the risk. With a baby on the way, Emma would like to live in a charming, safe community, after all—and in a space larger than a one-bedroom New York City apartment. On impulse, she agrees to Ben’s plan and they put in an offer on the house.

Sure, the mansion has a somewhat creepy backstory and is a bit dilapidated, but Emma and Ben are in this together, aren’t they? When strange things start happening, Emma begins to experience a little buyer’s remorse. What’s the real history of this house? Is its dark history repeating itself? Why does her husband suddenly seem so distant? Is she in danger? Is her baby?

When Ben first finds a listing for a quirky Victorian mansion a few hours out of the city, he’s excited that it sounds just like the kind of adventure he and Emma would have loved in their early dating days. But Ben may be forgetting that he’s a married man and soon-to-be father now. He sets Emma up in the house with a bit of habitable space and a handyman around each day working on the rest of it, while he continues his theater job in the city.

The attic of the house is full of relics from when it was rumored to have been run as a rehabilitation center for theater stars There, Emma finds an old diary which tells of a young pregnant woman who was sent to the home to keep her out of sight until she delivered the illegitimate baby. It makes Emma wonder if she is just being kept out of the way as well.

The beginning of this book was a fun build up, and the house sounded amazing. The end was a bit less clear and felt unfulfilling. Sometimes the book seemed to be told by an unreliable narrator, but then doubts were cast if the narrator was unreliable or someone was influencing her perceptions. I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it as an interesting domestic drama. 

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a homebody who enjoys quirky movies and stories, playing board games, and relaxing with a good book. Check out her winter activities on Instagram, where she posts as PoshBecki.

GIVEAWAY:

Two of my lucky readers will win a copy of All I Want!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

All I Want, by Darcey Bell

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