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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Perhaps everyone’s childhood memories are the same: part truth, part fantasy.

But this house turned our imagination into a melting pot, a forge. A cauldron.

I can trust nothing that came out of it.

No. 36 Westeryk Road, an imposing flat-stone house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. A house of curving shadows and crumbling grandeur. But it’s what lies under the house that is extr
Expected publication: April 1st 2021 by HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction
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  • Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

    Release date: Apr 20, 2021
    Enter for a chance to win one of 50 advance readers copies of MIRRORLAND, a twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller - a story of twin sisters, ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 16 - Mar 18, 2021

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.83  · 
    Rating details
     ·  361 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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    Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    Identical twins, Ellice (El) and Catriona (Cat) live with their Mum and Grandpa in a large gloomy old house in Edinburgh. The house has lots of nooks and crannies, lots of places to hide, and that’s very fortunate, because when the twins retreat into their make believe fantastical world of Mirrorland, a place of swashbuckling pirates and mean and scary witches, they need to hide on lots of occasions.

    When the twins reach adulthood, they have a massive falling out, and have no contact with each ot
    daph pink ♡
    Dec 16, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021-tbr
    Why is this book giving me vibe of The girl in the mirror . ...more
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    My brain is on fire! My dear overcooked grey cells burned to ashes! Another stimulating, challenging thriller is out to surprise you with complicated twists!

    We have an unreliable narrator on the board to tell us a creepy, delusional, blood freezing, complex story with a gothic, bleak, claustrophobic house theme dances with blended magical realism, psychological thriller, mystery genres!

    Twin girls El and Cat created a world called Mirrorland till that world begins to threat them swallow whole.
    Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
    4-5 stars

    36 Westeryk Road, Edinburgh contains Mirrorland, the escapist world of mirror twins Ellice (El) and Catriona (Cat) Morgan. Now in their thirties El leads Cat on a treasure hunt to unlock their shocking reality and discover truths.

    It took me a while to get into this but its draws you into the original and creative plot and ultimately it becomes very difficult to put down. It is a very atmospheric tale, super creepy in places and the author fuses the childhood fantasy Mirrorland brillia
    Twin sisters Cat and El have been estranged for years. Living in separate parts of the world trying to put their past behind them.

    Until El goes missing….

    Cat quickly returns home to Edinburgh from California. She refuses to believe that something has happened to El. But the investigation of her disappearance is underway. Could El’s husband be responsible? A man they both have a history with.

    I admittedly had a hard time connecting with this book. There were parts I enjoyed such as the actual inves
    Elyse  Walters
    Going back to sleep ... DEBUT SKILLS SHINE!
    Review to follow this weekend-
    Gorgeous atmospheric experiences....
    literary- psychological thriller ....
    clever, beautifully written.... breathtaking descriptions...


    This is beautifully written debut.....(combo/ infusion mix of genres) > stunning blend of literary fiction and mystery thriller. I loved the book. There are a lot of descriptions— (which often can be too much), but I found the descriptions in this book exhilarating, birthed from a w
    DNF @ 16% - no rating.

    This book sounded right up my ally but I was so very wrong. I have been reading this for about four hours now and I'm only at 16%. This is way too fantastical for me and I had no idea that pirates and pirate lingo would be such a big factor in the story. I have zero interest in pirates and, as it turns out, Mirrorland either. C'est la vie!

    Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my review.
    Susanne  Strong
    Review published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

    Smoke and Mirrors, Fiction and Fantasy.

    “Mirrorland'' is a world created by Identical twins, El and Cat as children growing up in a Manse in Scotland. It's a marvelous, outlandish, and wondrous world where El and Cat could hide, safe from harm, even though it was inhabited by clowns, witches, and pirates.

    Call me crazy, but I personally would have been hiding from Mirrorland, not the other way around!

    Once best friends, the two sis
    Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    Cat travels from America to her childhood home in Scotland when her identical twin sister goes missing. She believes that her sister is not missing but attention seeking and is trying to find out where she is hiding.
    This is a complicated story and there is a lot of fantasy from the twins childhood.
    A slow moving story that failed to hold my interest.
    Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
    Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Where do I start? OMG this book had my brain in a whirl with its gripping twisting plot!!

    In 1998 Ellice and Catriona are twins, as children they created their own world called Mirrorland. They both leave home as they want to join a pirate ship.

    The twins are now grown up but have not been close for many years.

    El has disappeared whilst out on her boat. She is married to childhood friend Ross and they live in her childhood home in Scotland.

    Cat who is now living in California returns to see what h
    Alan Cotterell
    Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    I read the synopsis and on Netgalley and was instantly hooked and have been eagerly waiting to read this ever since. That was the fantasy. The reality is I have been trying really hard for almost 3 hours to get into this book, and failing miserably.

    Looks like I may be in the minority here, as many other reviewers are rating highly. I can’t do that as I DNF @ 18%, and struggle to award 1 star.
    Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    4 stars--I really liked it. Content warnings for domestic abuse and child abuse. (Seriously.)

    When this started, I was a bit confused about where the characters were and what exactly was going on. This is intentional, though, and eventually all became clear. This is a dark book of family secrets and jealousy (a very dark book). Despite some uneven pacing, I found myself devouring this story, needing to know what happened next. It's a feverish read, with a satisfying ending.

    I received this review
    Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
    I am not a fan of the magical realism genre, which this novel seems to resemble, so I really struggled to engage with the storyline. However, the writing is excellently atmospheric, imbuing the novel with that pervasive sense of other-worldliness to be found in dreams - or is this a nightmare? Either way, it is a very intriguing first novel.
    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe
    “We will not leave each other, never so long as we live”.

    Twins Cat and El are the inventors and rulers of Mirrorland, the magical realm in the cupboard full of clowns, pirates, witches, and anything else their minds can come up with. Being raised on stories about Neverland, Narnia, and The Black Pearl, Cat and El turned their house into many magical realms, and built a full sized ship to sail the imaginary seas. Their childhood was full of adventure, until one day they were orphaned and found wa
    The Coycaterpillar Reads
    Mirrorland…first that cover told me about all the blows it would deliver. It’s dark, it’s intimidating and the abyss you’re staring at? Yeah, it’s going to pull you all the way under.

    Not going to lie, I always wished I had a sister, but a twin sister? Shouldn’t that just come with a health warning, plain and simple? Your sense of identity is shrouded around being part of a pair. Mothers of twins the world over tend to dress them the same, do their hair the same and treat them the same. How to y
    Jan 27, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    *Thanks to Scribner & Netgalley for an advance copy!
    Miranda Reads
    Oct 16, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition

    So excited about this Book Haul Video !

    YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
    Erin Clemence
    Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: first-reads, kindle
    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

    Expected publication date: April 20, 2021

    Cat has tried for years to escape her past. After growing up in Edinburgh, she moved across the world to California nearly twelve years ago, and has had no contact with her estranged twin sister, El, since. When Cat receives word that El has disappeared at sea, she is forced to return to Scotland in hopes of finding her s
    So happy to have another ARC to review! This book seems really interesting.
    Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Mirrorland. An imaginary place with surprisingly real dimensions. When Catriona and Ellice were kids, it was their secret world, the place they were safe and happy. And memory being the tricky imperfect thing that it is…to a great extent it remains that in their minds, or at least for one of them. The mirror twins, Cat and El, grew up to be undistinguishable in appearances and quite different in most other ways. So much so that familial ties weren’t enough to stay together and so for 12 years, s ...more
    Christina McDonald
    Anyone who reads this should know it's heavily laced with magical realism. I do enjoy a little magical realism, it was to the extent that I really struggled with the first 50% of the storyline. It did pick up and I'm glad I finished, as I really enjoyed the ending. While it was too fantastical for me, those that enjoy this type of book will find a story imbued with a large dose of atmosphere, fairy tales, and family drama.

    At the root of the story is a woman returning home when her sister goes mi
    Fifi | A Fairytale Dream
    Oh man, where to begin. Is it weird that I can’t really decide how I felt about this one? In a way it felt like an above average read, but at the same time, kind of average?

    What sets Mirrorland apart from other thrillers are the fantasy sequences that take place in Mirrorland. The meshing of real life and fantasy, and Cat not being able to tell who or what is real, is what set this book apart from other thrillers. Honestly, the concept of this fictional world being interwoven into the story was
    Cat and El are identical twin sisters but have been living apart for the last 12 years. Cat lived in L.A. and El in their old family home in Scotland, 36 Westeryk Road. When El has gone missing presumed dead on the family yacht. Cat returns home to be met by Ross El’s husband and childhood friend. Cat thinks that El is not dead otherwise she would sense it, but Ross has accepted the fact that she has gone. Cat hasn’t told Ross that she has been receiving letters and emails that Cat thinks are fr ...more
    Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow! This one was just so twisted and right from the start it drew me in. Fabulous!!

    Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from her twin sister El, who has stayed in their hometown and house they grew up in, in Edinburgh. As girls they invented Mirrorland, an imaginary land and a place of escape.

    Now, twelve years later, Cat is returning home after she hears from El's husband, Ross, who tells her El is missing. El went out on her sailboat and never returned. As Cat returns to their childhood home sh
    Jay T
    Nov 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I cannot say this book won me over. We are dealt with an unreliable narrator and it pains me to say that the book is so-so.

    However, what intrigued me the most is when the mirror twins go into the fantasy realm that they conjured up as an escape.

    Sadly, El goes missing and her husband....does not seem to be the man Cat (twin sister) thought she was. Time to question everything. That’s when it gets interesting. 2.5 rounded up to 3.
    Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021, arc, january-2021
    This deeply twisted, complex psychological thriller kept me on my toes! 12 year old mirror twins, Cat and El, showed up mysteriously on the harbor docks in Edinburgh, with no trace of a past that they’ll speak about to anyone. By 19 they were out of the system and both fighting over the same man - Ross. El won and Cat fled to America, vowing never to return or speak to her sister again.

    10 years later, Cat gets a phone call from Ross, telling her that El is missing. Cat frantically returns to Sc
    This book got a bit "out there" for me. I usually enjoy magical realism, but the fantasy on this book was too much for me personally. I enjoyed the mystery of the missing sister, but about 15% when it started to get into Mirrorland got a bit crazy for me. I also did not find any of the characters particularly likeable. ...more
    Kim McGee
    Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Identical twins Cat and El grow up sharing everything living in an imaginative fantasy world of their own design called Mirrorland. That is until the boy next door chooses El to fall in love with and Cat runs away to L.A. Cat gets a frantic call that El is missing at sea and just like that she is back in Scotland and Mirrorland. Someone is leaving her threatening notes and text messages with clues to find Cat's diary pages. Is El dead or is she the one leaving clues for Cat to find her? This is ...more
    Marc Bougharios
    3.75 stars

    Fans of Room and Gone Girl will absolutely fall in love with this novel. It's a mixture of both novels combined into one jaw-dropping psychological thriller that will satisfy readers till its very last page.

    Cat and El are twins who grew up at 36 Westeryk Lane. This was where they invented Mirrorland; an imaginary world filled with pirates, witches and clowns. Cat moves on with her life, but El moves in to that same house with her husband Ross. When she disappears, El is forced back i
    Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is all sorts of twisty turney,with difficulty knowing what is the truth.
    Mainly as our main character can't tell what the truth is,having been brought up on stories and myths.
    The house is beyond creepy,and as the truth finally emerges,it's stranger than I was imagining.
    This book is dark and suspenseful,and a blinking good read... having me puzzling over the who's and the why's far after I'd put the book down for the night.
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    Carole Johnstone’s award-winning short fiction has appeared in annual “Best of” anthologies in the US and UK.
    Her debut novel, Mirrorland, will be published in spring 2021 by Borough Press/HarperCollins in the UK and Commonwealth and by Scribner/Simon & Schuster in North America.
    She lives in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
    More information can be found at

    Articles featuring this book

    Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens...
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