Monday 7 February 2022

The House of Sorrowing Stars by Beth Cartwright

Having read and loved Beth’s debut Feathertide, I couldn’t wait to read her next bookish delight that was The House of Sorrowing Stars. Read on for my full review.


I was delighted that once again Beth’s story utterly captivated me within the first few pages and within a blink of an eye, I was a hundred pages in!   

When Liddy receives an unusual invitation for her to visit The House of Sorrowing Stars, she is at first confused because only people who have experienced loss go there. However, her curiosity gets the better of her and also the timing to get away from the expectations for her to marry seems too good an opportunity to miss. Once she is there, she meets Vivienne, the lady who invited her, who leaves Liddy feeling unsettled with her glare, Ben the reserved gardener, but Liddy’s guide, and Raphael, the keymaker, who is responsible for helping people with their grief and keeps himself hidden away. Liddy quickly begins to realise that the occupants of this house are harbouring their own sorrow and if Liddy is to find her purpose in this house, she must unlock their secrets. 

This book was so beautifully written, it deals with grief and loss and healing in the most delicate way. It made my heart ache. So many sad stories, so many missed opportunities because of others and so many lives not able to move on because of their all-consuming grief. Beth blends magical realism into the everyday seamlessly and there was something so otherworldly about this story. There were even notes of gothic storytelling that hinted to the likes of Laura Purcell. 

A hauntingly beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time. 

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