Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack

Title: Sanctuary
Author: Jennifer McKissack
Publisher: Scholastic (October 2015)

A haunting and luminous Gothic YA novel about reckoning with the ghosts of one's dark past.

After the untimely death of her aunt Laura, Cecilia Cross is forced to return to Sanctuary, a rambling, old French-Gothic mansion that crowns a remote island off the coast of Maine. Cecilia is both drawn to and repulsed by Sanctuary. The scent of the ocean intoxicates her, but she's also haunted by the ghosts of her past -- of her father who died at Sanctuary five years ago, and of her mother who was committed soon after. The memories leave Cecilia feeling shaken, desperate to run away and forget her terrible family history.

But then a mysterious guest arrives at Sanctuary: Eli Bauer, a professor sent to examine Sanctuary's library. Cecilia is intrigued by this strange young man who seems so interested in her -- even more interested in her than in the books he is meant to be studying. Who is he and what does he want? Can Cecilia possibly trust her growing feelings for him? And can he help her make peace with her haunted, tragic past?

I was fortunate to discover this wonderful novel through recieving a review copy  from Scholastic. And I send them a huge thank you for that because this is not normally a book I would pick up.

Sanctuary is one if the most unique books I have read this year. It is also, thankfully, a standalone. It is a quick yet atmospheric read with a spunky narrator and twisted, well - executed plot.

It is set in post - depression America which also adds to the enjoyment as it is not flooded with cultural references and actually relies on the story and not trends to draw the reader in. It also means that Sanctuary has the feel of being a classic, a book that could be read 50 years from now and still feel relevant.

I really recommend this as a good option for the holidays. It's one of the best books I have read this year. Good for fans of Jane Eyre.

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