Available August 2nd
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (From Goodreads)
After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper-class England in the 1820s, is shattered when her brother mysteriously drowns. Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident.
A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There's a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham. Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother's killer claim her life, too?
The Gilded Cage is a quick, easy read, whisking us off to a sprawling state in England where greed runs rampant, secrets lurk in every dark corner, and rumors of a beast lurking in the woods abound.
Katherine knows nothing of Society life, spending her days working her family's farm in Virginia until an unexpected inheritance has her trading her dirt-stained hands for white lace gloves. Given her upbringing she's incredibly down to earth, the extravagances of life at Walthingham foreign to her on every level, and the rules of conduct for young ladies lost on her in the best possible way. She's not afraid to speak her mind or display traits and talents considered unbecoming for someone of her gender and station, and we can't help but love her all the more for refusing to conform.
While there's a lot to love about Katherine, her affections are a bit more easily won than we might like, her interest flitting from a footman to the family's estate lawyer with relative ease, with neither relationship moving beyond surface level. The plot bounces around in much the same way, giving us what at first appears to be a paranormal storyline as the staff and locals whisper of the Beast of Walthingham, but before we can settle in for some quality time with the supernatural, we switch gears to a murder mystery and finally find ourselves walking the halls of a mental institution. It's not as though these separate plot points aren't tied together however–they are and the story itself flows well enough–there's just so much that could have been explored with each one, but instead of getting to peel back layers and really dig in, we switch gears and head off in a different direction.
Overall though, The Gilded Cage is a solid read in terms of entertainment value, a perfect palette-cleansing type of read that keeps us interested even if we don't close the back cover and immediately add it to our shelf of favorites.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.