From the first page, In Her Shadow grabs you by the throat and won’t you go.
“‘Help.’ My voice is hoarse. Fading fast. Someone help me. But no one’s coming. No one knows I’m down here.”
And then the first trickle of smoke appears, the house where Colleen is trapped is on fire. Both her and her unborn child need to leave. And leave soon.
“Oh, please God, no…I’m going to die. And it will have all been for nothing.”
Moving from a week before Colleen’s dilemma to the prior year and finally to the fire’s aftermath, the book continues at a brisk pace. Each chapter starts with a new point-of-view. It seems like most, if not all, of the characters are either confused or lying. All are unlikeable. I didn’t even like Colleen by the end.
I think moving a famous gothic novel up to present day is a feat that the author only slightly pulls off. As soon as my boyfriend and the father of my child says I can’t visit an entire wing of the house, I’m out. Most modern women wouldn’t stand for that because now, unlike Victorian times, women have options. So if you decide to read this book, be aware that you will need to suspend disbelief from almost the first chapter. However, what brings In Her Shadow up to 3 stars is the surprising and well-done twist during the finale.
Thanks to Ballantine Books, Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.