Review: Sargasso by Kathy George

Title: Sargasso

Author: Kathy George

Published: 3rd February 2021, HQ Fiction

Status: Read February 2021 courtesy Harlequin/Netgalley

++++++

My Thoughts:

“The last thing I remember is the screaming. I remember that because I wasn’t the one doing it…. It was the house. Sargasso. The house was screaming,….”

Inspired by her love of classic gothic fiction, Sargasso is an entrancing, eerie tale of mystery and passion from debut Australian novelist, Kathy George.

Upon her grandmother’s death, Hannah Prendergast inherits Sargasso, the impressive house of glass and stone designed by her late father, built on a headland just outside Shepherd Cove, a holiday town two hours’ drive down the west coast of Melbourne. It’s been twenty years since Helen last crossed the threshold of her childhood home, the family having abandoned it when she was twelve after her father’s body washed up on the beach below.

The narrative shifts smoothly between the past and the present. ‘Then’ Hannah is a bright and imaginative child who delights in the eccentric aspects of Sargasso, one of which is the inscrutable boy who becomes her best and only friend, Flint. ‘Now’, Hannah plans to rejuvenate the house while she decides what to do with it, and is stunned when Flint reappears, a grown man, as enigmatic as ever.

It is the relationship between Hannah and Flint that is at the heart of this story, an obsessive, possessive, all consuming love forged in childhood and reignited with their reunion as adults. Hannah barely hesitates before ending her three year relationship when Flint demands it, and grows ever more reluctant to even leave his side, as Flint has a habit of disappearing for hours, days, even weeks, particularly when she displeases him. The sense of uncertainty and dread steadily escalates as the secrets of Sargasso, both past and present, begins to unravel.

George develops an extraordinary atmosphere that blurs the line between what may be real and what may be imagined. The initial impression of Sargasso is one of light and strength, but slowly, particularly in the present timeline, the atmosphere of the house becomes oppressive and sinister. Rather than protect Hannah, it seems to trap her in a space between waking and sleeping.

The influence of novels such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Rebecca are obvious in terms of both plot and character but I think George provides her own modern Australian twist. Sargasso is an enthralling, haunting, gothic tale.

++++++

Available from Harlequin Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jade @ Scatterbooker
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 09:15:21

    Great review, this sounds like a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Janelle
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 09:20:23

    I like the look of this one! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Amanda Barrett
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 09:21:33

    Love this review and I have so much adoration for this book. I agree George has put her own modern Australian twists to novels such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Rebecca. Thanks Shelleyrae!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 13:16:36

    Wonderful review! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Sharon
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 13:53:28

    Sounds like intriguing Australian gothic with a nice hint of the classics will add this one to my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Mystica
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 15:14:26

    A nice gothic with an Australian background. Unusual reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
    Feb 16, 2021 @ 21:57:01

    Thank you for sharing this one with us. I should find a wide audience.

    Like

    Reply

  8. sjhigbee
    Feb 17, 2021 @ 02:37:59

    What a fabulous review! And yes… I can definitely spot some similarities with Jane Eyre, Rebecca and in particular, Wuthering Heights. Thank you for sharing:))

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Feb 17, 2021 @ 22:28:50

    I love the sound of the atmosphere in this — it genuinely gives me the shivers.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Izabel Brekilien
    Feb 18, 2021 @ 22:23:26

    It looks perfect for me and atmospheric, you compared it to some of my favourite novels – thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
    Feb 19, 2021 @ 11:25:14

    I’ve added this to my list. I wish it were on audio, but I love the sound of this atmospheric tale!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. yvonne473
    Feb 19, 2021 @ 16:12:37

    Great review! I have to check this book out. It sounds like something I would like.

    Like

    Reply

  13. Lexlingua
    Feb 21, 2021 @ 00:09:18

    Wow, this looks brilliant! Is Gothic doing a return? More and more book blurbs seem to be using the “Gothic” to market themselves, interesting how reading evolves.

    Like

    Reply

  14. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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