An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
Puppets. (Yes, puppets…)
A mysterious house looming over the sea…
He's a reclusive writer whose imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill his characters with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill an audience with laughs. But she's not laughing now.
Annie Hewitt has arrived on Peregrine Island in the middle of a snowstorm and at the end of her resources. She's broke, dispirited, but not quite ready to give up. Her red suitcases hold the puppets she uses to make her living: sensible Dilly, spunky Scamp, and Leo, the baddest of bad guys. Her puppets, the romantic novels she loves, and a little bit of courage are all she has left.
Annie couldn't be more ill prepared for what she finds when she reaches Moonraker Cottage or for the man who dwells in Harp House, the mysterious mansion that hovers above the cottage from a windblown cliff. When she was a teenager, he betrayed her in a way she can never forget or forgive. Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business.
Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.
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Not SEP's best work
Find some way to down play the puppets. For the most part I really didn't like them. I understand the role they play, but I think they could have been written in without being such an integeral part of Annie's life that she constantly heard their voices in her head and she talked to them as if they were real? I found it annoying and it creeped me out a bit and made me question her sanity.
I enjoyed the flash backs to Annie's youth so that you understood the history, as she knew it, between her and Theo (her love interest). I also enjoyed slowly uncovering the truth about Theo and his life. The mystery of who was trying to get her to leave the island was interesting as well.
Yes. Very distinct voices. Would happily listen to another of her narrations.
Lack of puppets. Did I mention I really didn't like them?
This book is a little over 12 hrs long. If you can force yourself to get through the first 4 hrs or so, then it starts to change and gets better. I have to say that I really haven't enjoyed the last two books SEP has written. I found that I was forcing myself to continue on and finish them. If this trend continues I will drop her from my "must read" authors list.
- C. Macduff