Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: The Gilded Cage

Lucinda Gray
Young Adult/Historical/Mystery
256 pages
Henry Holt
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.

Rating: 3.5/5

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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. 


  1. maybe, it could be interesting. In any case I love the cover!

  2. That's such a lovely cover. I love anything historical, but I think I'll avoid this one. Her affections easily moving from one guy to the other would probably grate on my nerves. I'm glad you still found it to be an enjoyable story overall though, Jenny!

  3. Love the murder mystery and gads that cover is gorgeous.

  4. Wow Jenny, it sounds almost like this was all over the place love interest and plot wise. Not sure how I would feel about it at this point but it still does sound really interesting.

  5. The lack of depth in the romance might be a big point of bother for me, so I'm unsure about giving this one a try...

  6. I love the mystery aspect of this but the lack of depth in terms of plot and romance might bug me...I'm just not sure...You might just have me sold for when I want a quick, easy read with lots of entertainment value though :)

  7. I think I have read one by her, some years ago

  8. I'm all about the easy reads these days since I have the attention span of a fruit fly, but I don't think I would appreciate Katherine's inconsistent and easily changed affections. I'm sensitive about that sort of thing. Be that as it may, I really am desperate for light entertainment so I might just check this out.

  9. You know I love historical fiction and somehow this book has flown under my radar. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the great review, Jenny!

  10. I haven't heard of this one, but I love the cover and title. This is not the type of read I usually gravitate to--I tend to go for a romance when I need a palate cleanser--but perhaps I'll give this one a shot instead, the next time I'm in the mood for a read like this one. Great review, Jenny!

  11. Hmmm...I have this on my TBR but keep putting it off...I fell in love with the cover but it seems lackluster...

  12. I'm typically a historical fiction fan, but why do I get the feeling this story is lacking somewhat?

  13. I've had my eye on this and that cover just sucks me in. I like the historical and mystery aspect, but not to sure about the romance/s. Maybe for a light read which we all need every now and then :)

  14. I remember seeing this cover everywhere earlier this year. While I do like historical mysteries, the romance(s) has me a bit hesitant. I'll keep it in mind when I need a palate-cleanser.