Sara's Reviews > The Dashwood Haunting

The Dashwood Haunting by Ann Nyland
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's review
Feb 23, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012, romance, suspense-paranormal

I was SO excited to read this book! It seemed as though it would have everything I love: a distant relative in a faraway country, hauntings, a family mystery, what's not to love?

This story is about Amy Stuart, an Australian who works as a blogger for a paranormal magazine. She receives a letter from her aunt in England telling her to come visit as she has some family documents for her. Amy convinces her boss that this is a great opportunity to do some articles for the magazine, so away she goes.. Upon arriving in England, Amy goes to her aunt's house only to be bowled over by a mysterious person running out of the house. She goes inside to find her aunt dead. The doctor (who may not really be a doctor at all-which we never really determine) comes and has Aunt Clara's body taken away. In her time in England, Amy meets her aunt's "friend" Miranda, and also two mysterious men, Declan and Nick, only to "fall in love" with one of them (I use the term loosely). One is good and one is bad, but which is which?

It turns out Aunt Clara was a member of a secret society and there are people out there who will stop at nothing to get the pages of her secret book, if only they could find it.

After reading, this book, it turned out to be quite a disappointment. This story has such potential, it could be fantastic, if only it were another 100-150 pages long. The whole story felt rushed, you didn't really get to know the characters, and the converstations were stilted. Also, the story didn't have a very good flow to it, there wasn't a lot of segue from one train of thought to another. At one point, Amy and Declan are on a tour at West Wycombe Park, looking at paintings on the walls, and suddenly Amy "wondered again at the painted ceiling." Yet at no point before that was she ever "wondering" at it to begin with, therefore, one cannot possibly "wonder again" at it. Small things like that.

I would also like to point out a HUGE typo on page 88: "Whtiehead took delivery of the letter on December, 23, 1774. If the letter was sent from America, it may have referred to events that happened in November 1997, possibly even October 1997." Ok, since nothing in this book has anything to do with 1997, we can only assume that this was meant to be 1774. Big problem. How did the editor not catch this???

Additionally, I disliked the fact that nothing really got resolved in this book. Yes, there was a ghost. Do we find out who the ghost is? No. Does Amy even seem to CARE that there is a ghost talking to her? No. Who was the mysterious man running out of Aunt Clara's house? No idea. And what about the whole blog thing? Did she even finish her writing assignment? Not sure, as its never mentioned towards the end of the book.

All in all, I'm not sure exactly what the point was. The story had a lot of information, but not a lot of actual content. Basically, Amy went to England and met a guy. Seems to me, if that was the whole point, the author could have accomplished a lot more by just writing a romance novel. From reading this, it appears they may have just been trying to jump on the paranormal bandwagon? Who knows. All I can say is that if I were the editor of this book, I would not want others reading it because it was obviously not my best work.

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