By Charlie N. Holmberg
Published November 2022
I believe this was an Amazon Prime pick a few months ago, but I would have jumped on it anyway because I really enjoy the magical worlds that this author weaves. I’m happy to report that this book exceeded my expectations both in magical realism and just how darn cozy I felt reading it.
Here’s the blurb: In 1846, novelist Merritt Fernsby inherits a house situated in the middle nowhere in the Narragansett region of Rhode Island. Expecting the worst, since the house hasn’t been inhabited in over 100 years, Merritt is delighted to find the house is in pristine condition. Unfortunately, it’s also enchanted and doesn’t seem to take kindly to Merritt’s presence. Nor will the house let him leave.
Just in time, Hulda Larkin from the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms arrives and helps him tame Whimbrel House. Slowly, the house comes to feel like home to Merritt, and Hulda finds herself reluctant to leave once everything is under control. But before either can explore whether their living situation could or should become permanent, both Merritt’s and Hulda’s pasts blast into their present, threatening everything they’ve come to hold dear.
While my synopsis might sound a bit like a thriller, this was actually a really heartwarming book. I adored both Merritt and Hulda and hope to see more of them in the sequel. Most of the historical fiction aspects were spot on (I had a bit of a problem with the lavatory), and the magical realism was as perfect as a Sarah Addison Allen novel.
Honestly, except for the bit about the bathroom that tossed me out of the story long enough to make sure my own research wasn’t incorrect, I couldn’t put this one down. It has the same cozy, found-family, shy romance feel as The House on the Cerulean Sea, but without the social messaging. I raved about that book but I think I like this one more so if you haven’t read it or aren’t familiar with this author, it’s on KU so there’s no excuse not to check it out. Read it today, you’ll be a fan too.
4.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.