So many good books lately that take place in or are about a library. If you love a book about a library, or you dig a good paranormal mystery with maybe a little romance in the mix, then you’ve got to get this book.
The Last Heir to Blackwood Library started out with an intriguing prologue: a nun at Blackwood Abbey is willingly bricked up into a small room with nothing but a desk with quill and ink, a window with a view, a small opening in the door for food and supplies, and the promise of no physical contact with another human for the rest of her life. But with this sacrifice, came a world of knowledge and understanding of the universe otherwise out of reach for a woman.
Fast forward roughly six hundred years, and Ivy Ratcliff finds herself the sole living heir of the Blackwood estate. At first, she sees it as a boon, a relief from the struggles of a hard life, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that the abbey isn’t what it seems.
This book takes its time. The story unfolds like a childhood ghost story, allowing you to feel comfortable before igniting that tingle on the back of your neck. I love that when reading, you never quite know who to trust, much like Ivy.
With a bit of franticness that reminds me of Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and rich, historical, and sensory writing that reminded me of Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter, the slow unfolding of events culminates in a satisfying ending.
For its glorious library, determined heroine, brilliantly creepy story, and threads of romance that just felt so right, this book gets a full five stars from me.
With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.
The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.
Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.