Saturday, November 10, 2012

Unhallowed Ground by Daniel Mills

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: November 8, 2012

In the summer of 1891, Henry Feathering travels to Bittersweet Lodge at the invitation of his reclusive widower uncle. Under the shadow of the dilapidated old mansion, Henry falls in love with the enigmatic Clemency St. James and proposes to her in the shelter of a locust grove. As the newlyweds settle into the lodge, they soon learn of the house’s sordid past—ghostly visitations, unexplained illnesses, and madness—which now plagues Henry and Clemency, creating an irreparable rift between them. Can they salvage what is left of their marriage? Or will the unbridgeable distances dividing men from women, the past from the present, and the living from the dead doom them to the fate of what lies beneath the grave of a young girl buried on these unhallowed grounds...

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Victorian Bride Detail by Stacy Hill
Used with Permission of the Photographer
Daniel Mills' Unhallowed Ground is definitely a noteworthy piece, but that being said, I have mixed feelings about the story. 

To Mills' credit, he really captured the style and flow that characterizes gothic literature. The voice he crafted for narrator Henry Feathering would do Poe proud. Mills' wording strikes the same cords and in that respect I really have to applaud this piece. 

Still, I can't bring myself to go higher than three stars. While I enjoyed the dark, haunting beauty of Unhallowed Ground, the book did not speak to me. I want to stress this is strictly a matter of personal preference and not a comment on the author or quality of his work. I simply like stories to pack a little more of a punch than what I found here. This is a good book, just not one for my bookshelf.

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"No doubt you are like me when I was your age. Secure in youth, you have the luxury of skepticism. But she is not at peace. Lily Stark's presence pervades this house..."
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