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The Woman in the Mirror

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,639 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.

For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain J
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Minotaur Books (first published 2018)
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The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James is a 2020 Minotaur publication.

An eerie tribute to supernatural Gothic tales!

It’s 1947 and Alice Miller has just arrived at Winterbourne Hall to start her new job as governess for Jonathan de Grey’s twins. Alice is hoping this position will help her move beyond her haunted past as she works to keep her own secrets buried.

However, Jonathan is not a very warm person, at all, and the bond she initially forges with the children quickly sours. Not only that
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Gothic, Atmospheric, creepy tale which takes place during dual timelines in an English Castle. A family haunted by the past, a woman in the present searching for answers about her past...oh how beautifully they collide!!!

Winterbourne Hall has always stood high on the bluffs overlooking the Ocean, hasn't it? Well, for at least two centuries it did, but before that.......

In 1947, Alice Miller accepted a job as a governess of Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Alice is immediately taken with
Diane S ☔
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Winterbourne. The haunting edifice, ancestral home of the De Grey's, situated on the cliffs of Cornwall. The place where a young woman, with her own secret past, is hired to be the governess to the young, motherless De Grey twins.

Well, who can resist. A haunted estate, but haunted by whom and why? Strong gothic tones, secrets, where things are not always as they appear. Manderly, anyone? What is true, what is not? Two timelines, present and past. The future plot brings another young woman t
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

I emerge from beneath my covers to tell you that I haven't been genuinely so terrified in quite awhile. As a malevolent spirit takes old of a British manor, it has devastating consequences for the women who try to live happily under its roof. Right from the very beginning of this tale, "she" wrapped her cold hands around my neck and just wouldn't let go.

In 1947, Alice Miller escapes from war scarred
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intense, sinister, and mystical!

In this debut novel by James, The Woman in the Mirror, she transports us to the rugged cliffside of Cornwall, England during 1947, as well as present-day, and into a family manor where powerful emotions swirl, tragic memories reside, and long-buried skeletons and secrets are in abundance.

The prose is ominous and dark. The characters are complex, lonely, and troubled, with the setting, Winterborne Hall, being a character itself with its dereliction and isolation. A
Maria Zuppardi
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YOU guys. This book was so spooky. Definitely one of the spookiest books I’ve read in the longest time. I loved every second of it, even though i was terrified half the time. But it’s fine, I’ll just ignore the scary parts and hope I don’t have nightmares. Definitely read this and include it especially in any spookathon lists!
Natalia  R
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop of a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall.

In 1947, Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey's two children. When she arrives, she immediately falls in love with the house, the children, and the Captain. But then sinister things start happening to Alice. And the twins' adoration becomes almost hateful and they start believing that Alice is not to be trusted. As the
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
DNF around 50%!

I've tried for several days to finish the audio version of this book, but I just can't find myself taking to the story. Today was at least the third time I tried to listen to it, but I find myself almost depressed with the thought of listening to it. So, now I'm giving up and I will pick something else to listen to!
Cindy Burnett
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am loving the continued revival of gothic tales following the success of The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware and The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths- two fabulous books that you should read if you haven’t yet. One of my favorite new additions to the genre is The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James - it’s deliciously creepy and so much fun to read. If you like a good solid ghost story with a definite gothic feel- this is the book for you.

For more reviews, check out my Instagram account,
The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James is going to be the perfect fall read if you are looking for creepy, gothic, and supernatural suspense all in one. I listened to the audio which is read by Charlotte Newton-John and Katharine Mangold, and they both did such an amazing job as Alice and Rachel which are the two viewpoints in the novel. I love anything with a supernatural element and this one did not disappoint. I loved the switches between Alice in 1947, and Rachel's present-day viewpoint, a ...more
The Woman in the Mirror really catches you off guard in the best way possible!

This gothic historical fiction novel alternates between England in the late 1940s, post-World War II; and the current day between New York and England. However, the majority of the story takes place at this massive, beautiful, England countryside estate in Cornwall, England called Winterbourne Hall. In 1947, Alice Miller takes a job as governess (basically a nanny) at Winterbourne Hall for the de Gray family. This
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1947, Alice Miller comes to Winterbourne to be a governess for Cpt. Jonathan de Grey's twins. At first, the situation is idyllic. The isolated mansion on top a cliff by the sea is beautiful...but frightening or even threatening as well. The children's strange affection for her starts to turn dark. And their father slowly turns spiteful and mean. Flash forward several decades....orphan Rachel Wright finally discovers who her parents were and that she is the heir of Winterbourne. Excited that s ...more
I absolutely love a Gothic tale and couldn't resist The Woman in the Mirror. It provided everything I look for in a bit of horror - okay, a lot of horror: spooky house, suspense, atmospherically dark and ominous. I really loved it from start to finish.

Told in a dual timeline, primarily the story is set at Winterbourne in the 1940s so it has that mid-century, post war feel that surrounds it. The characters are well told, the prose is perfect and the story itself, well, the ending was quite surpr
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James genuinely surprised me. Normally I am skeptical whenever I see books described as “modern Gothic” because often I find the term never means what you think it means, but whether it was because I had no expectations or something else, I really enjoyed this one.

Told through alternating past and present timelines, this haunting novel takes us to the Cornwall coast, where an old ruined e
After weeks of not being able to concentrate on reading, I finally found a book to hold my interest, The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James. This haunting and mesmerizing gothic mystery is going straight to my favorites shelf. It has all the elements that I love in this genre: a dilapidated old mention, a brooding hero, supernatural happenings, and plenty of secrets.

The writing is captivating and the characters are well-developed, even though the story takes place in two timelines: 1947 and p
Rebecca James is a new author to this reader and hardly ever read gothic or dark thrillers. However, “The Woman in the Mirror" is a very creative and compelling story that captured my attention to the very end. The plot and scenery described were exceptional...i.e., the cliffside manor and moors. The author manages to draw the reader into the story from beginning to end. I got a feel of uneasiness and a bit of fear when reading which was excellent and what I thought was necessary to keep me capt ...more
The Lit Bitch
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

By all accounts this book was practically guaranteed a five star review. It had all the things I love in a Gothic tale…..the wild Cornish coast with foggy/misty mornings, a broken hero, a dark secret, an innocent but curious heroine, and so much atmosphere.

It sounded like a modern Victoria Holt novel and I just couldn’t wait to crack it open! I have read only one other book by this author, Sweet Damages, but it was so long ago that I read it, that I can’t quite recall all the details bu
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, gothic
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

For fans of the Gothic genre this book will be a home run. For me, it's just not my scene. I once read a lot of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and Daphne du Maurier, but that was a long time ago. "The Woman in the Mirror" is all gothic, with a touch of paranormal and very intense. It makes you care for these characters and the ending is probably going to give me nightmares.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
I was drawn to this book by its Gothic setting and the promise of a creepy read. The setting is perfect - an old mansion with its own secrets and past, that overlooks the beautiful but treacherous coastline of Cornwall. When that locale is paired with sinister happenings, possible hauntings and a couple of deaths, I was expecting a truly ominous read.

But what I got was a story with a good premise but the way it was told was underwhelming. I was intrigued enough to keep reading but I was disappoi
Joanna Park
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ooh I do love a dark creepy book and The Woman In The Mirror definitely ticked both of those boxes.

From the start the book is incredibly atmospheric, especially when it comes to the eerie descriptions of the house.  The air almost crackles with mystery and feels weighed down with all the secrets the house holds.  The reader is given the sense that anything can happen at any moment which made me quite jumpy at times.  This is definitely a book to read with lots of people about and the light on! T
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, netgalley
When I started to read this I hadn't realized we would be switching from 1947 to the current day. Time switching novels are really not at the top of my favourite list, with a few notable exceptions. However I had been drawn to the location of this gothic read.
Winterbourne Hall in Cornwall is eerie enough for even the hardiest souls' blood to run a little cold. I did love the description of the hall.
As we weave between the lot of governess Alice Miller (I am reminded of Deborah Kerr and The Innoc
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
My advice, don't read this one in the dark! AH! I stayed up late to finish ... couldn't get to sleep afterwards. Creepy vibes!

Gothic Suspense? Yes please! The Woman In The Mirror gets ALL the stars from me! I absolutely LOVED it! I'm a huge fan of alternating timelines ... the back and forth between the chapters gets me every time. The flow was so good! That storyline though, so perfectly weaved ... and that ending! Plus, the characters. They'll suck you in. I wasn't able to put this down.

If yo
4 Stars
Really enjoyed this one!
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020edelweiss
I don't often read Gothic novels, but, the book description for The Woman in the Mirror sounded quite intriguing. Told in two distinct timelines, it was a compelling read.
Alice is hired as a governess in 1947. Captain Jonathan DeGrey, is a widower and is physically and emotionally damaged from the war. He has two adorable children, who seem to have their own hidden agenda. Alice soon falls in love with Jonathan, but something is very wrong in this house, something that has the potential to kil
Enjoyment of this book will hinge entirely on whether you consider Gothics genre fiction. I do. They're an amalgamation of genre - suspense, horror, romance - but they're genre. And genre is all about making a promise to the reader. Gothic's promise? That evil will be vanquished. Whether it's human or supernatural evil, our protagonists are going to defeat evil. And this book? Yeah, the author does that and then decides to tack on a final couple of chapters that basically serve as a Gotcha! So.. ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Enjoyed this gothic mystery with a touch of the paranormal. Captured me from the beginning and had a satisfying ending.
Karen KK
I received this from for a review.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne while desperately trying to escape her past transgressions. In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne and desperately wants to discover who who ancestors are.

Nice gothic story. Good characterizations of its residents, big creepy mansion with a love lorn ghost on a sea swept landscape.

Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
First gripping sentence:

𝑳𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏! 𝑪𝒂𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒊𝒕?

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳 by Rebecca James is an unnerving gothic tale with an insidious creepy atmosphere that drew me in to the book very quickly.

A dark tale told in several narrative’s, past and present, it centers around the Winterbourne mansion and those that lived there. In 1947, Alice Miller takes a governess position for Captain De Grey, looking after his twins. Winterbourne seems to feed on the grief and loneliness of its inhabitants, causi
J.A. Ironside
This was an oddly frustrating book. I found it compelling enough to keep me turning pages and I rather enjoyed the Gothic aspects of it, but I had a problem with the two (or three if you count the dead) female protagonists. I like dual narrative fiction especially if one or both are set historically. But neither of them quite came off for me, unfortunately. I’ll go into why in a moment.


In the present day, gallery owner, Rachel Wright, has always felt rejected by life on some basic level. Other
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