The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall is an atmospheric and compelling gothic mystery.


Margaret Lennox, recently widowed, has taken up a governess position at Heartwood Hall under the employ of Mrs. Eversham. Margaret quickly learns that the villagers avoid the house and its inhabitants. There are whispers that the house is cursed.

Margaret doesn’t believe in such superstitions, but she can’t deny the noises she hears at night, nor the flashes of something seen and then gone. However, she tries to get on with her work teaching Louis, her ten-year-old charge, who has immediately captured her heart.

But the past catches up with Margaret, and it becomes impossible to ignore the strange occurrences in the house.

Review of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

This gothic tale is entirely from Margaret’s pov. It reminded me a bit of The Silent Companion and Jane Eyre. The characters were all well-developed, whether they were lovable or not-so-lovable. The eerie setting rounded out the gothic feel as well.

I thought it was going in one direction and was surprised when it didn’t. Perhaps if I had tried to work everything out, I would have guessed the twist, but I just sat back and enjoyed the journey.

There is also disability representation. The main character is deaf in one ear, and it seems to be presented realistically without being a plot device.

Really my only criticism is that one of the characters allowed themselves to be gaslit so easily. They went from an intelligent, rational person to doubting what was right in front of them.

Overall, a great read and I’d highly recommend this book if you enjoy dark gothic tales. I am excited for future books by this author. I’ll definitely pick up their next release.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 28 February 2023

Thank you to Dutton for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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