Beneath the Shadows: Book summary and reviews of Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Beneath the Shadows

by Sara Foster

Beneath the Shadows
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2012
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A thrilling gothic debut that evokes Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca and Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles. A young mother searches for the truth behind her husband's disappearance on modern-day Yorkshire's windswept moors.

When Grace's husband, Adam, inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave the bustle of London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter, Millie, in her stroller on the doorstep. The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village on the untamed heath.  Everyone - the police, her parents, even her best friend and younger sister - is convinced that Adam left her.

But Grace, unable to let go of her memories of their love and life together, cannot accept this explanation.  She is desperate for answers, but the slumbering, deeply superstitious hamlet is unwilling to give up its secrets. As Grace hunts through forgotten corners of the cottage searching for clues, and digs deeper into the lives of the locals, strange dreams begin to haunt her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut her and Millie off from the rest of the world does Grace make a terrible discovery. She has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along, and she and her daughter will be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Foster's second page-turning tale of suspense set on the snow-covered moors has something for everyone: mystery, romance, paranormal activity and mortal danger." - Kirkus

"A haunting tale of loss and one woman's search for the truth no matter the consequences. This vividly written novel will leave you breathless and as chilled as the starkly beautiful North Yorkshire moors where this compelling story unfolds." – Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of These Things Hidden

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Reader Reviews

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Rosemary K. (Saginaw, MI)

losing oneself in the shadows
From the very first, Sara Foster's Beneath the Shadows had me in its thrall. Wild, snowy moors, secrets in the basement. . .suspenseful elements abound. Unique characters are marvelously depicted. The author weaves a wondrous tale, drawing readers into the sad plight of Grace, whose husband has suddenly disappeared.

This debut novel is a page-turner, leading us along eerie trails that involve a well-settled village and the newcomer: a young mother seeking answers.

Susan P. (Boston, MA)

Beneath the Shadows
A story of a young couple who have inherited a house and move to North Yorkshire, a place where the husband spent a little time in his youth. (The place itself seems also to be a character in the book.) He disappears one day and the book covers the wife's determined plan one year later to find out what happened. It's a subtle but mesmerizing story that's hard to put down. You will want to read it in one sitting, as you're slyly pulled in, somehow knowing there's something dark somewhere. I loved it. If you enjoyed Rosamund Lupton's SISTER and AFTERWARDS, you'll enjoy this one.

Carole P. (framingham, ma)

Beneath The Shadows
As a lover of gothics, I was a bit sceptical when I started this book. Having grown up with REBECCA, I knew what a true gothic was. Happily this lived up to my expectations. It was indeed suspensful and haunting. Sara Foster gives you everything. Two brooding men, a heroine you care about and a tragic mystery. The setting in the North Yorkshire moors was just an extra bonus.

Melissa P. (Greenville, New York)

Beneath the Shadows
Grace and Adam move to the cottage once owned by his grandparents on the Yorkshire moors. Grace is not really thrilled with the setting but she has no idea what is to come. Adam mysteriously disappears after going on a walk with their infant daughter Millie. Millie is found safe in front of the cottage but there is not a trace of Adam. Grace returns to the cottage months later to finalize things and to see if she can find any answers to the burning question: what happened to Adam?

This book had good twists and turns and I did not really see the ending coming. The characters were interesting and complex. I felt for Grace and wanted her to get some sort of closure about her missing husband. This book was a good mystery and had some hints of romance in it as well. I recommend this book.

Angela G. (Byram, MS)

ONE OF THE NOT-TO-BE-MISSED BOOKS THIS YEAR!
Their move from the bustling city of London to the tiny village on the North Yorkshire moors seemed like a chance for a woman to start a new life focused on her husband and baby. But what begins as an adventure in a run down cottage quickly becomes a nightmare when the husband abruptly disappears, seemingly abandoning their baby.

"Beneath the Shadows" is a Gothic tale of mystery and suspense worthy of Daphne DuMaurier! The story pulls the reader into the cottage, out on the moors, and inside a manor house filled with eccentric family members who have secrets of their own. Things go bump in the night, the old grandfather clock stops at odd times, and a trip into the dark basement has deadly potential. Slowly, the mystery is peeled back revealing its dark heart. A touch of G-rated romance helps to offset fear and tragedy.

Dialog in "Beneath the Shadows" is a pitch perfect to portray each character, some of whom are not exactly what they seem. Sense of time and place are excellent. You can see the awe inspiring vastness of the moors, and feel the biting cold of the snow and wind. This books has been compared to works by leading Gothic writers. It will leave readers waiting for the next novel by Sara Foster!

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!

...32 more reader reviews

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More Information

Sara Foster was born and raised in the UK, she worked for a time in the HarperCollins fiction department in London, before turning her hand to freelance editing and writing in her spare time. Sara moved to Western Australia in 2004, where she lives with her husband and young daughter. Her first novel, Come Back to Me (2010), was an international bestseller. A third novel, Shallow Breath, will published in late 2012.

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