Evie L. (EauClaire, wi)
I read this book to the end but I had several interruptions in my personal life so it was hard to get back into it.. It didn't completely hold my interest and I got confused with the many characters involved.
Jean T. (Paducah, KY)
Beneath the Shadows
I was pulled into this book from the beginning – loving the lyrical descriptions which set the scene and atmosphere. The author did a fine job of weaving in the threads of past and present and interweaving the different characters. I found the story compelling and read the book virtually straight through. A disappointment was that the literary tone with which the book opened was not carried throughout, settling for a more ordinary, somewhat choppy, approach as the story progressed. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book and think lovers of mystery novels will be intrigued as the author sustained the suspense and mystery surrounding Adam’s disappearance until the very end.
Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL)
The Shadows Only Deepen
Beneath the Shadows got my attention before I even opened the book. All I had to do was look at the cover picture and try to imagine why a baby carriage is alone in the woods in winter! I was not disappointed. Just trying to comprehend a young mother's (Grace) fears when she finds her baby alone in front of her cottage and her husband (Adam) missing is terrible enough.
Transporting a city couple and a very young child from London to an isolated cottage on the Yorkshire Moors (formerly owned by Adam's deceased grandparents) is just the beginning. With her husband missing, Grace needs to find answers. At every turn, strange things happen. A grandfathers clock stops and begins again, an old book appears on her bed etc. The architect, Ben, who comes to help her update the cottage so that eventually she can rent or sell it, discovers a locked basement that Grace didn't know about. Why hadn't Adam told her? There is a strange older man, who rarely leaves his home. Grace sees him outside feeding mice to his owls. Then there is Meredith and her daughters. Grace likes Meredith at first but she seems to be holding back information and later upsets Grace when she offers to buy the cottage so Grace can leave. She also tells her about the spirit, Timmy who appears at odd times. The more we learn, the more frightening things become.
The authors characters are very distinctive and create a distinctive atmosphere in this small town. You have to like Grace's sister Anabel. For the most part, she adds some fun to the story, as does Millie, the daughter.
How these people connect IS the story.
This is a journey Grace must take even though she is terrified and doesn't know who she can trust. It really is a "cliff hanger" or should we say a "leap hanger". You are on edge from start to finish.
Sara Foster has well-written a mystery mixed with so many questions and surprised that it is hard to put it down. You don't need to like mysteries to read this book. Will appeal to everyone!
Jane A. (Lakeport, CA)
An compelling story
Although I am not an aficionado of mystery stories, I was unable to put "Beneath the Shadows" down until I had finished it. It is very well written, and the story moves forward in a compelling style. The author left me guessing until the final chapter.
Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
BENEATH THE SHADOWS...You'll be surprised!
"They should be home"...what mother or caregiver has not had that selfsame thought when the time is late and loved ones are unaccounted for? Moments later, baby Millie is mysteriously found safe and sound on the front step in her carriage, Adam is nowhere in sight, and the reader is instantly launched into Grace's journey to find answers to this appearance/disappearance conundrum. BENEATH THE SHADOWS by Sara Foster is an impressive first offering by an author who shows tremendous promise in this debut novel. With the English moor as character in its own right, we are moved along in and among those people who populate Grace's world as layers of the mystery are gradually peeled away. I read this novel in two days because... I JUST HAD TO KNOW! I hope we will be hearing more from Sara Foster...SOON!
Joan B. (Ellicott City, MD)
Beneath the Shadows
The prepublication hype for BENEATH THE SHADOWS calls the book a "chilling debut". The biggest chill for me was the descriptions of the snow on the moors. I thought the book was well written and it held my attention. I did finish it very quickly. The end just did not seem heart stopping to me. I felt the resolution was too contrived. The best part was the relationship between Grace and Annabel. My younger sister and I had a similiar kind of pull and push love. I really liked Ben, but his family was a disfunctional mess. My book club would definately get them all straightened out.
Helen M. (Petaluma, CA)
Gothic for sure
Although the novel starts slowly, it develpes as one turns pages and ends up with more than one twist. Dark, spooky.......what better place than the moors of England. The snowy weather enhances each scene. The characters are well-developed as they spend the novel skirting the heroine. This is both a story of the love of a man and woman and the love between mother and child. The ending surprised me and I am sure it will you also. A light but good read. I would recommend it.