The Woman in the Mirror

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781250230058. $26.99. SUSPENSE
Winterbourne Hall is a large, imposing manor in Cornwall, England. In 1947, Alice Miller is the family’s newest governess, charged with taking care of two children, Constance and Edmund de Gray, who are still grieving the loss of their mother, Laura. When Alice discovers a painting in which the subjects do not remain static and an old mirror that beckons her, she turns to Jonathan, the children’s enigmatic father, for answers. His counsel is misleading, and Alice finds herself on an unexpected path. Meanwhile, Rachel Wright, a gallery curator in modern-day New York, learns that she is a descendant of the de Grays. She heads to the estate and discovers the same painting and that wonderfully seductive mirror that has been ignored for ages. Determined to solve the mystery of her heritage, Rachel learns that more than one entity has a claim to her inheritance.
VERDICT Pseudonymous author James pens a delectably creepy tale. If Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre had a baby, it would be this well-crafted Victorian gothic mystery.

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