The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
Teen ∴ Horror > Mystery ∴ Fantasy > Paranormal ∴ TW: self-harm
Published September 27th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Hardback ∴ 288 pages
Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.
When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.
This book was weird, at the very least. It has some spooks, especially if you let yourself get sucked into reading, like I do, but I think it could’ve been better.
I think the plot moved too fast. I’m usually all for shorter standalones, but this one needed to build toward the scares more than it does. It could have easily been another 100 pages to build the plot better.The ending was another issue. So much happened so fast and very little was explained. The end was graphic and decently written, just too fast for me. Everything happened in the last 20 pages or so.
I found Lucy to be a little too complacent, though she does try to help her cousin, sort of. Her father is so oblivious to the issues his daughter and niece are having that I really just wanted to push him off a cliff. Also, her cousin’s speedy fall into madness to be too fast. I can understand the stress she was under, but it happened in a span of a week or so, and there wasn’t enough of her actually becoming mad, she just was suddenly.
Since this book has a haunting that’s somewhat historical, I was quite disappointed to have little to no knowledge of the person doing the haunting. I could Wiki more info than the book gave me. I think this is part of the reason why the climax and ending didn’t sit well with me.
Would I recommend?: If you want a quick, spooky read, sure. But if you’re looking for a horror novel to change your life, this isn’t it. The writing is decent and it has a good story, but it falls somewhat flat for me.
(also a few spoilers)
There was one somewhat redeeming quality to the book, and that’s the issue of self harm. Lucy’s family is very prominent and she’s constantly under stress of living up to society. She keeps a box of razors and things on her dresser because she has anxiety issues and the only way to keep it under control is to count the scars on her thighs. She decides that it’s impossible to deal with the haunting if she continues to cut, so she burns the box. I was so proud of her for that, until she finds another freaking razor and cuts again. Oh well.