The prologue opens with the thoughts of Eustace Gerard in April 1765, recounting a moment he can’t forget – the day he mistakenly killed the wrong woman.
The first chapter opens with Fenella in 2004, when she is on a school visit to Lydiard Park. She enters a room by herself and feels instantly transported to another time… a drunken man is shouting at her, but yet he doesn’t seem to see her. And then, she spots a golden gown, shimmering in the light calling for her to take it…
It’s not until present day that Fenella realises the impact the dress has had on her life and her family; and now it’s calling to her again. It’s time to right her wrongs and find out the truth about this piece of clothing which seems to have the ability to possess people…
Whilst Fenella continues her research, Cornick continues to take us back to the 1760s, and we begin two years earlier to build up the story. This time we’re guided through the eyes of Isabella; Eustace’s husband, and Constance; Isabella’s maid.
Cornick has the most wonderfully descriptive writing style which sweeps you up in the settings, the time and the nature of the main plot; including all the sub plots that grow and entwine themselves around the centre piece.
The plot is wonderfully stitched together as we discover pieces from the past and the present, however it’s not all plain sailing, you might think you’ve figured it all out, but be careful… otherwise you’ll have to unpick those stitches and unravel the thread!
The research Cornick has packed into this story; and in fact all her books is sensational, the attention to detail can be found in every line of this book – making her my current favourite author in the historical fiction genre.
Cornick manages to make heroines out of the “every day imperfect woman”, this tale has three women who are riddled with flaws, but yet they each manage to show acts of kindness and strength. Whilst Fenella, Isabella and Constance have their own secrets, the largest mystery surrounds the male characters; both in the past and present, as it’s difficult to know who to trust!
With a satisfying ending that left hope for the present day, and an epilogue leaving us content with the past, I felt a surge of pleasure as I closed this book.
Captivating, beautifully descriptive and characterised to perfection. 10/10 for Cornick’s latest!
The Woman in the Lake will be published by HQ on 7 March 2019 in eBook and paperback. Apologies for my VERY early review, I just couldn’t wait to share it with you all! I will retweet it closer to the time also, just to remind you!
Have you read any of Cornick’s books? If this has piqued your interest and you haven’t read one of her books before, you can also check out my review of The Phantom Tree and grab it now!
Until next time, Chloé x
*I received a free copy of this book at a publishing event, it was my choice to review it here on my blog, and these are my honest thoughts*