“The house, for all of its solitude, seemed incredibly noisy. The Farmhouse, having stood against time and history for nearly 160 years in the Virginia countryside, was forgotten and abandoned until Kyle and Jenny Dowling moved in during the summer of 1972. The Dowlings, married just a year, were struggling to repair their broken marriage. It was to be the perfect place, away from it all, to heal their relationship. Jenny would write and Kyle would tend to minor renovations. The rent was cheap. The realtor warned them, however, against staying beyond the final days of fall. “
I have to say a big thank you to ZooLoo’s Book Tours who arranged for me to have a digital copy of the book and gave me a space on the blog tour. And secondly thank you to L.B Stimson for writing this boom and creating the character of Jenny.
While I found the book a little slow to start, I really connected with the character of Jenny and understood her angst, pain and attempts of determination. Living with the pain of having to go to her husband when he had been found after his disastrous sex-session with a student could not have been easy, and then leaving her home for the summer to live in a run-down and remote place while he made attempts to fix the house and try to fix their marriage isn’t easy to witness-whether its fictional or not. I hated Kyle throughout the entire book! He seemed selfish to me. Even when Stimson wrote him as a guy who was trying to come through for his wife, a voice in my head still screamed “but he wouldn’t have to try so hard if he hadn’t have screwed up in the first place!”
I love the setting too! The farm house is so remote and I really enjoy how it fuelled Jenny’s writing and when she began to picture her heroine at the farmhouse you didn’t know if she was seeing her imagination play out in front of her or if she was seeing the images of lives lives long ago.
Kyle was told not to stay longer than autumn at the farmhouse, Jenny was warned by the towns folk, but they did just that and the consequences weren’t a bed of thornless roses. Which, I do realise is the point of the plot, but did a lot me because if you’re told not to stay then in my optimism you simply don’t stay! However, it was cleverly set up so how much of the decision to stay was their own and how much was another influence at work is tricky to tell, which makes the plot that more riveting all around.
Overall I enjoyed the book once I got stuck in! I wouldn’t necessarily watch it if I came across it as a film or series because to me a narrative can be dramatically different when transcribed from page to screen and I feel like it would ruin the experience of the book for me, and I would recommend it for a spooky or Halloween reading challenge that avid readers, book bloggers and bookstagrammers are so fond of (last year I took part in a spooky read along and really enjoyed it) as it’s perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson’s style and era of fiction.
About the Author
L.B. grew up in a one stop-light town in central Idaho. After earning a Bachelor of Art’s degree in cultural anthropology from California State University-Chico, she uprooted herself to begin a new life in Washington, D.C., where she began a varied career in professional communications in private business and education.
“I’ve always had a passion for photography, travel, writing, and history. I am thrilled to now be creating works of fiction that allow me to share these passions with others. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is the historical research required to bring authenticity to my characters’ lives.” This is her fifth book and the second in her standalone series: Tales from the Parlor Room–a collection of gothic and ghostly tales. Stimson currently resides in Virginia where she enjoys cemetery walks, visiting abandoned and haunted places and working on more ghostly tales.