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Pub date November 19, 2020
Price $14.00 (USD), $3.07 Kindle edition
Set in 1873, Gordon’s second and final installment in The Hotel series takes readers back to Dagger Island as Francis finds himself swallowed into a downward spiral of darkness while trying to come to terms with Isabelle’s shocking death. Desperate and broken after Isabelle’s death, Francis longs to leave the confines of the Dagger Island, setting for his childhood home, but the fate has other plans for him. As he finds himself back in the Hotel, under the care of Dr. Hawthorne, he must prepare himself for unraveling of long-dead secrets of his past. Gordon writes with exquisite sensitivity as she explores themes of love, longing, and childhood sexual abuse and trauma. Through her female protagonists’ stories, Gordon makes a mother’s wrenching loss palpable. The little Oscar stays alive through Isabelle’s story. Weaving together many subtly interrelated narratives, she brings her varied cast of characters to life. Isabelle and Francis are the main protagonists of the story, but it’s Agnes who steals the show. Readers will find themselves rooting for her by the time the ending arrives. Hawthorne is thoroughly despicable antagonist. Francis’s dark backstory may shock the returning reader, but Gordon’s fine writing and nuanced insight into human nature make it thoroughly realistic. The moments of gothic horror are visceral, and Agnes’s attempts to find some kind of normalcy as she longs for Francis’s love are heartbreaking. This one is a page-turning.
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