Jessie is sure her little girl will love the freedom of the countryside, just as she did as a kid, all those secret nooks of childhood, tiny worlds invisible to grown-up eyes.
There’s a thrill that comes with being awake when everyone else is lost in sleep. I don’t feel rushed. Or watched. Time even passes differently, molding itself around me like a kid glove on warm skin.
…our aunt and uncle step around each other like awkwardly placed furniture or guests at a party with a long-running feud… All our lives we’ve been brought up to want what Sybil has: a marriage to a firstborn son, a big house, a loyal maid, the clawed silver sugar tongs, a gold carriage clock ticking down to the next wedding anniversary. And yet Sybil grinds pepper over her boiled egg in the morning as if she’d like to wring the neck of the chicken who laid it.
My parents prefer not to think, Margot. They simply decide on a course and stick to it, like ocean liners.
Flora starts to flirt, fluttering her long lashes. I get a sudden unsisterly urge to pick them out one by one like legs from a spider.
The Wildling Sisters kept me on edge, although I was immediately taken with the author’s writing style and remained intensely fascinated with the cleverly nuanced storyline as well as with the compelling and complex characters. The premise was unique and the writing was spellbinding and exceptionally well-crafted. Ms. Chase demonstrated uncanny word craft and repeatedly and deftly created an intense ambiance that could shift within a sentence. The story was cunningly and maddeningly paced and entailed two timelines, fifty years apart, in the same eerily creepy manor house in the quiet English countryside. The house and grounds contained a devastating mystery that prevailed over those fifty years, and long held secrets that also provided a peculiar and unnatural undercurrent to the tale. I was enthralled and so intrigued I warily read late into the night, a bit fearful of each new turn in the story, although I adored the author’s colorful and insightfully observed descriptions that triggered sharp visuals to flicker through my brain. The narrative also provided many amusing smirk-worthy analogies and comical details. Eve Chase has mad skills.
Margot and her sisters Flora, Pam and Dot used to spend their summers with their uncle and aunt at Applecote Manor. Margot loved spending time with her older cousin Audrey. They looked like sisters and were close friends. Margot always looked up to Audrey. However, one day Audrey disappeared and that also ended the visits of the sisters to the manor. Five years later they finally go back. Margot is fifteen years old at that time and looks more like Audrey than ever. She's still fascinated by her cousin's disappearance, but her sisters advise her to let it go. Boys, memories of the past and age differences are making it difficult for the sisters to remain united. The truth tends to come out though and when it does they will need their sisterly bond more than ever.
More than fifty years after Audrey's disappearance Jessie and her family are moving into Applecote Manor. They need a chance of scenery, because Jessie's stepdaughter Bella is acting out. That's why Jessie and Will have decided to move to the countryside, a fresh start for all of them. Jessie hopes the move will improve her marriage. Will is a widower and Jessie always feels like she has to compete with his deceased wife, but can never win. Bella is openly hostile and Jessie doesn't know how to handle her. She has her little girl Romy to protect and doesn't trust Bella with her sister. Bella feels at home in Audrey's room, is fascinated with the past and wants to dig up old secrets. Will the new home bring Jessie and her family peace and quiet or will secrets of the past influence their idea of a happier future? What happened at Applecote Manor that still haunts the home?
The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is an amazing gripping story. I was captivated by Margot and her family history from the start. I love reading about old houses and am a big fan of mysteries, so the vanishing of Audrey is something that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how Eve Chase sets her story both in the past and the present, which makes the impact of Audrey's story as huge as possible. Each main character is interesting and I loved their versatile personalities. Margot is a sweet and perceptive girl. She can't let her cousin go and while her sisters seem to be able to move on, she's somehow stuck in the past. Bella is fascinated by this same story many years later. Her connection to Audrey is her room and therefore she's just as strongly involved, but in a completely different way. I loved how Eve Chase connects the two stories and was blown away by both of them.
Eve Chase knows how to build tension and that makes her story suspenseful and thrilling. She kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is a story to read in one sitting because it's too good to put down. I love books about sisters and this is definitely a great one. There are plenty of surprising twists and turns and the complex relationships are intriguing and well thought through. Eve Chase combines this with a beautiful setting that can be both creepy and inviting at the same time. I really enjoyed reading The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, it's a fantastic thrilling story that I highly recommend.