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January 25, 2016

Liked It: The Evening Spider by Emily Arsenault

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Historical | Psychological Thriller

A gripping blend of psychological suspense and historical true crime, this riveting novel—inspired by a sensational real-life murder from the 1800s—by critically acclaimed author Emily Arsenault delivers a heart-stopping mystery linking two young mothers from different centuries.

Frances Barnett and Abby Bernacki are two haunted young mothers living in the same house in two different centuries.

1885: Frances Barnett is in the Northampton Lunatic Hospital, telling her story to a visitor. She has come to distrust her own memories, and believes that her pregnancy, birth, and early days of motherhood may have impaired her sanity.

During the earliest months of her baby’s life, Frances eagerly followed the famous murder trial of Mary Stannard—that captivated New Englanders with its salacious details and expert forensic testimony. Following—and even attending—this trial, Frances found an escape from the monotony of new motherhood. But as her story unfolds, Frances must admit that her obsession with the details of the murder were not entirely innocent.

Present day: Abby has been adjusting to motherhood smoothly—until recently, when odd sensations and dreams have begun to unsettle her while home alone with her baby. When she starts to question the house’s history, she is given the diary of Frances Barnett, who lived in the house 125 years earlier. Abby finds the diary disturbing, and researches the Barnett family’s history. The more Abby learns, the more she wonders about a negative—possibly supernatural—influence in her house. She becomes convinced that when she sleeps, she leaves her daughter vulnerable—and then vows not to sleep until she can determine the cause of her eerie experiences.

Frances Barnett might not be the only new mother to lose her mind in this house. And like Frances, Abby discovers that by trying to uncover another’s secrets, she risks awakening some of her own.



Woman In Black
I was feeling the heebie jeebies before I even read the first word of Emily Arsenault's psychological thriller, THE EVENING SPIDER. A 19th century young mother who was a tad too interested in her small town's murder case of the century who eventually lost her marbles, turned evil and might be haunting a house in this century? This is not your run-of-the-mill post partum depression that's for sure.

Switch to present day and Abby is now the new owner of Frances' old house. Like Frances, Abby too is a new mom and is obviously overwhelmed with all the changes that's happened in her life. Now here is where it gets creepy, Abby's daughter seems to be haunted. Mysterious bruises in her body, eerie shushing sounds coming from the nursery and the door feeling blocked for no reason... Makes you wonder what unfinished Frances has and why she's after Abby's baby.


Insidious
As THE EVENING SPIDER moves forward it gets even more puzzling and the implications are frightening. The obvious case scnario being Frances is indeed the one haunting Abby and her baby because she has unfinished business or maybe she made a pact with the devil or something to that effect. Frances' accounts are enough to implicate her as our dark presence in the house, her journal entries about forensic science alone is like reading the making of a serial killer. These entries were redundant and at times boring, but the repetitiveness is proof that Frances might not be quite right in the head. Also, she's a reckless mother, her baby's safety doesn't seem to be her priority, there are a couple of scenarios where she even used her child as an excuse for compulsive but necessary excursions. Obvious suspect right? 


Well maybe not.

But what if it's not Frances but Abby's who's losing her mind and she's just projecting her own breakdown through Frances? I mean being a new mom living in a new town residing in an old house that has this kind of history can be overwhelming. Reading and researching Frances, the house, and the Stannard murder, combined with strange occurences in the house will certainly induce paranoia, Heck this is like a Molatov cocktail on anybody's sanity don't you think?

EArsenault did really well in planting different and opposing seeds on my mind to the point where I'm getting anxious and starting to get antsy for the revelation. By the last quarter, I have no idea what's going on, is Frances innocent or guilty? Is Abby on to something or does she need a long nap, a shower, and a trip to te spa and she'll realize that it was all in her imagination? WTH IS HAPPENING?!


Paranormal Activity
When all the pieces of the puzzle are revealed, suffice to say that I was beyond surprised, very much underwhelmed, and a lot confused. Why? Because EArsenault threw this curve ball which disconnected Frances and Abby's story and disorienting the whole mystery. 

I love how EArsenault played Frances and Abby against each other, the build-up was strong, the evidence against Frances was convincing, I was biting my nails, super engrossed in the story only to find out that the women aren't connected at all except for the fact that they live(d) in the same house! That it was all about Abby with Frances as a catalyst of sorts or even the scapegoat. THE EVENING SPIDER has some amazing individual qualities that truly made it such a page-turning thriller, but as a whole it fell apart. I wish EArsenault just stuck with Frances and Abby, adding twists and turns to bend our minds and blindside us, and just discarded the third angle which by the way wasn't resolved. 

So after all this rambling, I don't know what happened.










Talk Supe


34 comments:

  1. This definitely sounds interesting! Great review!

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  2. This one sounds weird, that's true but different as well...

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    1. It's disturbing for sure. I can only imagine how frightened she is thinking her house might be haunted

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  3. This definitely sounds interesting.

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    1. I don't blame you, I was curious too that's why I picked it up

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  4. Oh Braine, this sounded so very good up until the ending. I'm sorry it was such a letdown but at least the story was thrilling until then.

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    1. Yup, I was to anxious to see how these two are going to "meet"

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  5. No thank you! All those movies you just listed creep me out. I will not read this. Even when I get in the mood later this year for something creepy. No no no.

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    1. Hahahaha! Well keep this in mind in case you want to read something scary on Halloween

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  6. This sounded like it had such a creepy good concept, Braine. That really sucks that even though that there were parts that were great, as a whole the story wasn't very cohesive. That's so disappointing. :(

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    1. You said it perfectly! Frances was nothing but a trigger for Abby, a long, insignificant trigger

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  7. Oh, I love the sound of this one. I hate though, when a book has so many great individual qualities but doesn't mash up well. Still, I am glad to see you liked it!

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    1. I love the creepy feel I got from it. Gave me the heebies

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  8. hmmm, I hate how you read the entire novel and don't know what happened! I can't really tolerate those so this one nuh-uh not my cuppa! Loved, LOVED your review girlfriend.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie :)

      I know, I think I could accept that Frances was just a trigger, but resolve the real issue for crying out loud!

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  9. Holy crap, Braine... This book sounds confusing a HELL. I hate that feeling when you have read an entire novel and your like... "wth did I jut read? Because I got absolutely nothing out of it" :/

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    1. Hahaha! Yeah, I wish I can tell you more, but this is all I got

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  10. I hate endings like that! And I was getting caught up in your review and really wanting to know myself and then bam, that horrible end. So I guess I'll just choose to skip this one.

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    1. That's exactly what I felt. Good thing I'm not a nail biter otherwise my fingers would look like crap for nothing

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  11. This book frustrated the hell out of me as well. I liked the creepiness and I had no clue as to what was going on, but the end was just a mess. I was so annoyed.

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    1. Hi5! I'm glad I'm not alone. I really thought they'll finally meet when she brought that medium in that house. It felt like a hoax, an intelligent guess at best. Gah!

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  12. oh wow...this seems interesting and a bit confusing!! Books that turn out like this can drive me up the wall.

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    1. If I was a cartoon character, my thought bubble would be all question marks

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  13. I love the sound of the creativity and the different way this was written... but I need answers and some sort of cohesiveness in the end at least. Darn. Don't think this one is for me. :(

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    1. I wish I can be more positive, but I was really confused and felt jilten in the end

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  14. I <3 creepy movies, but don't really love creepy books for some reason. lol do you really not know what happened? *shakes head* I've had that happen in a few reads before.

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    1. I love both given the right mood. Actually I'm more of a thriller lover, this thrilled me but didn't quite deliver in the end :(

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  15. I hate last minute plot twists that sink an otherwise solid read. I don't like predictable endings, either, but they at least have to make sense, lol.

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    1. Especially with books like this, suspense/thriller, you can't leave things unresolved! It's so unfair! lol

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  16. Oh geez. I think I'll have night terrors whilst reading this book! you're brave, girl!

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    1. Oh yeah, it sure gave me the creeps. I avoided reading it before bedtime lol

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