Friday, May 3, 2019

Review: The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

 All love stories are ghost stories in disguise. 

 When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

 As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.

 Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 9th, 2019
by Atria Books
**** 1/2

This was such an interesting book! The thought of someone who takes photographs of the dead, as a keepsake for the family, well that's an interesting profession eh? That is what Robert Highstead does and the latest task is to fulfill the last wishes of a cousin he never knew existed.

Here I can go on about his task and what transpires but the blurb above does that perfectly.

The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic story of lost love with plenty of secrets and shattered dreams. It’s about grief unrelenting and eerie settings where you can feel the damp of the fog and heat of flames. I found it mesmerizing and hard to put down. It was mysterious, creepy at times and definitely lived up to the buzz this book has been creating.

A wonderful debut by Kris Waldherr and one I highly recommend to those that love a Gothic, ghostly story.

 My thanks to the publisher (via Edelweiss) for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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