My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a strange, strange book. I’m kind of torn on how much I really liked it because of how strange I found this.
We begin The Women in the Walls with a death – a suicide that our protagonist Lucy Acosta happens to find. Then soon after, follows the disappearance of Lucy’s Aunt Penelope, who walks into the woods behind their Victorian mansion, last seen by Lucy herself.
Lucy has an especially hard time with her aunt’s disappearance, because after her own mother died when she was three, she looked upon Penelope as her mother. Assuming she can turn to her cousin Margaret (who is Penelope’s daughter) for comfort, Lucy is surprised to find that her “best friend” is being extremely cold and distant with her. Soon, she’s spending more time in the attic, and claims to hear her mother’s voice, whispering to her from within the walls…
Lucy tries to tell her father Felix, but he’s only concerned with keeping up appearances with the members of the exclusive country club the Acosta family belong to, even going so far as to continue holding the dinner parties that were once organized by Penelope. With no one on her side, Lucy is left to watch her cousin’s downward spiral, until she herself begins to hear the voices in the walls…
I found the Acosta family to be extremely strange. When Penelope goes missing, Lucy’s father, along with some members of the country club, organize their own search parties – without it appears any help from the police. And after an “extensive” search, they stop looking for Penelope. When Lucy suggests going out herself, her father tells her, “That will be more than enough,” and she’s done. That’s that. I can’t imagine not doing whatever I can to find a missing loved one, but as I’d already mentioned a million times, this family is strange, and they just seem to operate on a whole other level from normal.
Another thing that was kind of odd about this book, is that you really have no idea what time period it’s set in. Originally I was thinking anywhere from early to mid twentieth century, but then Lucy uses the somewhat “old-school” term search engines in reference to some computer research, and you realize, hey, this story is set in modern times! Not that you’d be able to tell with how old-fashioned Lucy’s family acted.
Anyway, lastly, this book takes so fricken long to build up, that when things finally happen, they’re literally thrown at you as if the author had a page count quota to hit, and didn’t want to leave anything out. It could almost be overwhelming, if not for the fact that I was surprised by the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I would never have guessed this book would end in surprisingly true horror fashion. So that alone kept my rating at 3 stars.
Not sure i’d recommend this book…but if you’re interested in a different brand of horror from what is usually offered in YA, then you may actually enjoy this. Who knows? (Shrug)