Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 1, 2022
by Atria Books
2.5/3 out of 5

The Cloisters was my January Book of the Month pick not just because of its captivating cover, but because the blurb made it sound like a unique and intriguing plot, There were tarot cards and a young woman named Ann working at the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

The story started off strong, but it didn't take long before I found my attention waning. Though I couldn't connect with Ann some of the other unreliable folks kept the story going. It had a somewhat slow pace, and sometimes a slow pace works but sadly for me it didn't here.

The Cloisters is a story of mystery, grief, guilt, academia, and for me, it lacked tension and intrigue. Given the subject I was hoping for more of a mystical feel. I found myself piecing together the plot before the big reveal, but ultimately, for the last half of the book, I switched to the audiobook to speed up my reading process.

This book was part of my 2023 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge (#12)

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