Review: Thornwood House by Anna Romer

Title: Thornwood House

Author: Anna Romer

Published: Simon and Schuster September 2013

Status: Read from September 17 to 19, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

An Australian gothic novel, Thornwood House is a haunting story of mystery and murder spanning four generations.

When Audrey Kepler inherits a neglected homestead in rural Queensland she decides to make it a home for herself and her eleven year old daughter. The childhood home of her daughter’s late father, Anna is surprised to discover Thornwood House harbours a tragic history. In 1946, Tony’s grandmother, Aylish was murdered in the grounds, a crime his grandfather, Samuel, was accused of committing. Two generations later, Tony’s teenage sister Glenda died in the same clearing, though her death was ruled accidental. Plagued by vivid dreams, Audrey develops an obsession with the deaths and as she digs into the past uncovers secrets that may threaten any future happiness.

What particularly impressed me about Thornwood House was Romer’s vivid descriptions of the Australian landscape, the contradictions of the bush, its dangers and its beauty, nurtures the haunting atmosphere of the story. I could easily visualise Thornwood House, and the other locations important to the story. Overall, I thought the writing to be expressive and evocative.

I think the mystery of Aylish and Glenda’s deaths were well plotted, the author offers deft misdirection and clever twists, at least one I didn’t see coming at all. Though Audrey is the primary narrator, Aylish and Glenda find a voice through letters, diary entries and dream visions.

Sadly I have to admit that I grew somewhat impatient with Audrey, I have never been a great fan of the gothic heroine despite finding the other elements of the genre appealing. For me, Audrey’s obsessive nature was tiring after a while, seven years seems far too long to be pining after a man who treated her as Tony did and I found the way her obsession transferred to Samuel creepy, but not in a good way.

I did enjoy Thornwood House despite not really connecting with Audrey. It is well written novel, atmospheric with a well crafted plot. An impressive debut from Anna Romer and I will definitely be picking up her next book.

Available to Purchase From

Simon and Schuster I BoomerangBooks I Booktopia I Amazon Kindle

via Booko



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Australian Bookshelf
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 21:12:29

    I felt the mystery was well plotted too- I just loved this story! Have to agree with you about Audrey’s pining over her ex… I felt this was an underdeveloped part of the story.



  2. Elizabeth
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 06:01:53

    Thanks for your review. I have wanted to read this book. I love the title and the cover.




  3. forgottenillawarra
    Dec 20, 2013 @ 10:44:20

    I’m reading this book right now, and I love it so much! Thanks for anothe great review, ShelleyRae



  4. Trackback: Review: Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer | book'd out

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