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The Den by Abi Maxwell
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really liked it
bookshelves: review-to-come

Review originally at DegenerateReads here - https://degeneratereads.wordpress.com...

Disclaimer: I received this eARC via Penguin's "First to Read" program in exchange for an honest review.

CW: Rape, Abortion

I wasn't sure what to expect when starting this, but I am pleasantly surprised with what I found. And don't let the shorter length of this fool you, it still packs a hell of a punch.

This story follows two sets of sisters—one pair in the 1990s, and the other in the mid-1800s. Although the story does include each of the four sisters perspectives, it focuses on Jane and Henrietta primarily. I feel that Jane is meant to be the "protagonist" though, as her perspective is the only one of the four told in first person, whereas the other three perspectives are in third person.

The fates of these two pairs of sisters is impressively woven. With every new chapter, you think you understand what happened to Henrietta and Elspeth in each of their respective timelines, but then another layer is added to their stories. Because of this, I would say this definitely has a literary mystery aspect, in addition to being historical fiction.

I think saying this has "echoes of The Scarlet Letter" is accurate, but it is a very faint "echo". The tone of this is very somber, and in much the same way as The Scarlet Letter, so in that respect I do see the comparison.

If you've read and liked this—and particularly Jane's character—I recommend We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2019 – Shelved
April 12, 2019 – Started Reading
April 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

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