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The Witch of Willow Hall

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  6,641 ratings  ·  1,409 reviews
Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Cather
Paperback, 364 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Graydon House
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Kelly Cat Winters is another one! She has some YA books but also a number of fiction books geared towards an older audience.

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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,641 ratings  ·  1,409 reviews

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Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
After an unfortunate scandal forces them to flee Boston, the Montrose Family moves permanently into their summer estate, Willow Hall, in New Oldbury, Massachusetts.

The three Montrose sisters, Catherine, Lydia and Emeline, take the move about as well as can be expected from teenage girls.

The setting and language of this novel were both extremely captivating for me. I was surprised to learn that this is a debut, the writing feels lush and experienced.

I loved the overriding gothic vibes that exte
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox is a 2018 Graydon House Publication.

A fine supernatural Gothic tale!!

This is a book after my own heart!! I love a good old school Gothic story. However, the modern versions of Gothic can often leave me feeling frustrated, as they rely too heavily on magic and the supernatural to carry the story and less on the slow, careful, buildup of suspense. The creepy, spooky elements should reveal themselves at well-timed, calculated moments for an optimum effect. I
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable, creepy fall read!

I love this period - the propriety and all the rules and manners, the language, the fashion, the balls. All of it! Well, not all of it - although women’s rights were just starting to take off, women were still treated as the lesser sex. But I did enjoy how we have some very strong, outspoken, intelligent leading ladies in this story.

We have a family who has moved to the country from Boston due to a scandal that has occurred, however we don’t know what has happe
Christina - Recipe & a Read
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-read
4, this was the perfect Halloween read stars!!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe and a Read!

Welcome fellow readers, to 1800's Boston, Massachusetts - two centuries after the Salem Witch Trials. Meet Lydia Montrose - she is the daughter of a wealthy businessman and a prim AF lady of the house. She does not shine quite as bright or as boldly as her elder sister Catherine, and she is not as imaginative and carefree as her younger sister Emeline. As a prominent family in the large city of Bost
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, atmospheric, and haunting.....
this was an exquisitely told debut...Hester Fox has wovin together this Gothic story of heartbreak and hope effortlessly.... as soon as I opened the cover of this book I found myself transported into the lives of the Montrose Family... finding myself in the middle of A scandal and the gloom and magic of Willow Hall....

This was not the story of a witch, but rather the story of Lydia Who just so happens to be a witch.... The witchcraft in this book wa
Mary Beth
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two centuries after the Salem Witch Trials, there's still one witch left in
Massachusetts. But she doesn't even know it.

It was the year of 1811 and it was the Bishop boy that started it all. He pelted stones at passing carriages. He lurked around every corner, responsible for every terrible thing in the world that Lydia's mind could not comprehend.

Her Pa brought home a black cat for her and her sister Catherine. It was an outdoor cat. The cat's name was Bartholomew and would squeak in greeting
Spooky, suspenseful & a little bit witchy!

This book reminded me so much of the gothic romantic suspense novels that I used to love reading growing up. They were my absolute favourite stories and this tale just made me feel all nostalgic and reminded me of my fondness for these types of stories.

THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL by HESTER FOX is a dark, haunting, romantic and an excellent debut novel that had me totally absorbed, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.

I wouldn’t necessari
Diane S ☔
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Gothic tale, just perfect for October. A terrfic blend of romance and ghostly happenings. Set in 1821 New England, two centuries after the infamous witch trials, we come to a creepy house, with a family whose lineage holds many secrets. So incredibly atmospheric, this was a sisters read and some of us were reminded of the atmosphere rnvoked in past Gothic reads, Rebecca, Jsne Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The chilling kind of old fashioned read where one can use words like torrid and sordid. If ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Woo hoo, witchy woman...she got the moon in her eye! 🎶 🌙 🌙 🌙 🌙

It is the 1800s in Boston, Massachusetts, some two hundred years after the Salem witch trials. One member of the Montrose family is a witch, but she has no knowledge of this.

There is a scandal that causes the Montrose family to flee from Boston to New Oldbury. Their new home is the gothic, eerie, but stately Willow Hall. It holds its own secrets within its walls. Will the Montroses be able to outrun their past, or is their family de
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
3.5 stars

"Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well."

A witch who doesn't know she is a witch! A family who flees Boston amidst scandal, moves to the town of New Oldbury in 1821. Looking to start over, will they find happiness, or will the past haunt them?

The Montrose Family was once a prominent family living in Boston until they were enveloped in a mysterious Scandal. Deciding t
This is a perfect gothic, ghostly historical read for this time of the year, set in 1821 featuring elements of the supernatural. Hester Fox writes a family drama novel that just drips with chilling atmosphere. The well off Montrose family move to the small country town of New Oldbury after rumours and scandal drive them out of Boston. Willow Hall is their new home, infested with an unsettling and disturbing air, with a tragic history and ghosts that does not bode well for the family. The Montros ...more
Hester Fox
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it <3

Edited to add:
You can find content warnings for THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL here:
The Witch of Willow Hall is a perfectly written gothic tale of witches, dark secrets and history. 

This is the debut novel written by Hester Fox and all I can is, "Wow!" Every first book should be this amazing! I was completely blown away by the history, the suspense and the storyline itself. It was, without a doubt, a great book! 

Lydia Montrose is the middle child and a loving sister. Her family was run out of town after horrible rumors began to swirl around the family. It's 1821, and these type
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-besties
Haunting, romantic, and atmospheric—Hester Fox’s The Witch of Willow Hall is a deeply engaging gothic historical fiction novel that explores the notion of how we choose to become who we are. Set in the small community of New Oldbury, Massachusetts in the 1800s, this book has a cast of characters that will make you forget where you are and feel like you are part of this town.

About the Book

The Salem witch trials are long past when the Montrose family arrives in New Oldsbury in 1821. Now the thing
Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews
Norma, Lindsay and I read The Witch Of Willow Hall with six of our Traveling Sisters and we all agreed that this was the perfect book for this time of year.

The Witch of Willow Hall is just what we were craving. It has all the elements for a great spooky, atmospheric, entertaining and chilling read with just a little bit of creep to add a little shock to the story. There is just the right amount of tragedy and romance with a sprinkle of witchcraft and a dash of the supernatural, making this the
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Witch of Willow Hall is a rich gothic mystery at it's finest!!!

Our main character Lydia and her family move to New Oldbury after a scandal arises with her family. After the scandal, their family is ready to have a fresh beginning but somehow the past always sneaks up on you....coming back to haunt you.

Lydia starts to realize that she has some special powers. A witch! Loved this part of the novel!! I am huge fan of supernatural. Lydia's family dates back to the Salem Witches... dated well ov
Holly  B
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it


A gothic romance with a mysterious family tree.

The Montrose family is at the heart of this story and they have moved to the country with their three daughters to escape a scandalous family event.  It is 1821 and their new estate is Willow Hall. There are stories about the home and whispers of ghosts and strange happenings. The younger sister, Emeline is quite taken with mermaid stories and now has added ghosts to her list.

The two older sisters, Lydia and Catherine are often at odds
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars.

Gothic. Mysterious. Haunting. Secretive.

This was a spine-tingling, highly atmospheric story. Willow Hall, the countryside mansion that this novel revolves around, has such an alluring and dominating presence. The house itself, the grounds the house lays on, the woods and the hidden pond. They all held a vital piece of this story and added an extra layer of suspense and intrigue. I loved that!

The characters were so very well done! The author, Hester Fox, does an outstanding job develo
Sep 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
A little too whimsical and romantic for my liking.

I liked the premise of this one but unfortunately it didn't work its magic on me. I was hoping for a creepy and chilling read but this for me was dull and boring and just dragged along.

"Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…
1821: Having fled family scandal in Bo
Anna Lee Huber
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, skillfully plotted, and filled with quiet terror, readers will devour this absorbing, Gothic tale of romance and suspense. Perfect for fans of Simone St James and Kate Morton.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The witch of willow hall by Hester Fox is a different kind of read for me but I absolutely loved it the only reason I gave it 4 🌟 Is because I could of done with a bit more about the witches and the family history of them , saying that it was an enjoyable read which was sad, spooky and lovely all at the same time.
The characters you can love some and dislike the others (the older sister Catherine 😤) the story flows along so effortlessly you can't believe you've reached the last page.
This is a eas
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
4 wonderfully Gothic creepy stars
My reviews can be found here:


There are things afoot at Willow Hall. The family Montrose, have moved into their country home. Fleeing from Boston because of a scandal, the sisters Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline are forced to take residence in this omnivorous home. The year was 1821, and the happenings in and around the home, seem to bring hints of something strange, something otherworldly, something supernatural.

Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-horror
I chose this book, thinking it would be a great spooky read for autumn and was a little disappointed. It was really a romance with just a few witchy things thrown in.
Overall the story was good but I felt the writing was a bit flat, the other worldly happenings were not eerie enough and the characters were not engaging.
The story was set in 1821 when the Montrose family moved from Boston to a little town called New Oldbury because of a family scandal. For the three Montrose sisters the move has
Book of Secrets
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL is a wonderful throwback to those beloved vintage gothic romances. Set in 1821, the story follows the Montrose family as a scandal in Boston sends them retreating to the small town of New Oldbury. Their fresh start in the country is anything but peaceful, as a malevolent force seems to be plaguing their home, Willow Hall. Will middle daughter Lydia's inheritance of a powerful family legacy be able to save them? Unfortunately, I was in a rush to finish this book and get i ...more
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there's still one witch left in Massachusetts, but she doesn't even know it.

If you are looking for an atmospheric fall / Halloween read, then I highly recommend The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox.

What it's about: The Montrose family moves from Boston to New Oldbury in 1821 to escape the rumors that are circulating around Boston about them. They move into the Willow Hall estate which, little do they know, possesses a dark history. The
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hard to believe this is a debut novel - it is really very well written. I was totally absorbed in the story and didn't want to put the book down until finished. There's a lot more to the story than witchcraft. The Montrose family flees Boston in 1821 due to scandalous rumors and moves to New Oldbury into a home called Willow Hall. Willow Hall has a history of tragedy. This is the story of what happens at Willow Hall and especially what Lydia discovers about herself and her history. There is also ...more
Niki Rokicki
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS WAS SO GOOD. Creepy af but also romantic af?? Give me a John Barrett without the ghosts pls.
Whispering Stories
1811, Boston Massachusetts, USA, home to the Salem Witch Trials two centuries earlier. Little Lydia Montrose is caught up in what is described as a ‘fight’ with a local boy, but the rumours never die down of what really happened that day.

1821, with the rumours still doing the rounds and Lydia now becoming a woman, the family move from the city to a small town and into Willow Hall. The house has stood empty for many years and even the owner, John Barrett won’t live there, preferring a smaller dwe
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read an early draft of this book. I found the characters and setting to be very unique and well-developed. The heroine, Lydia, is a compelling character and I found myself engrossed in her experiences. This is the author's debut novel and I am excited to see what she produces next! ...more
Love, love, love! Perfect for fans of Witchy reads, with parallels to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
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Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives in rural Virginia with her husband and their son.

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