The Wildling Sisters
Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there's a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven't been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.But as they discover Applecote's dark secrets and new temptations, the sisters begin to grow apart. Until the night everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood . . .

The Wildling Sisters Details

TitleThe Wildling Sisters
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherMichael Joseph
ISBN0718180100
ISBN-139780718180102
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Historical, Gothic, European Literature, British Literature

The Wildling Sisters Review

  • Paromjit
    June 22, 2017
    This is a beautfully written and haunting story that revolves around Applecote Manor in the Cotswolds, brimming with gothic overtones. It has two timelines, set in the 1950s and the present. It begins with an attention grabbing scenario where a body is being dragged, and you are left wondering and eager to know who it is, what has taken place, and what are the circumstances and motivations behind it. In 1959, four close sisters, Flora, Pam, Margot and Dot Wilde arrive at Applecote Manor for a tu This is a beautfully written and haunting story that revolves around Applecote Manor in the Cotswolds, brimming with gothic overtones. It has two timelines, set in the 1950s and the present. It begins with an attention grabbing scenario where a body is being dragged, and you are left wondering and eager to know who it is, what has taken place, and what are the circumstances and motivations behind it. In 1959, four close sisters, Flora, Pam, Margot and Dot Wilde arrive at Applecote Manor for a turbulent summer. Affectionately known as the Wildings, they are staying with their Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry, who are devastated about the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years previously. In the present, Jessie and Will move into Applecote Manor hoping that it proves to be a balm to the spirits for their emotionally troubled family. This is a story of nostalgia, yearnings, family, secrets and lies.The Wildings mother is off working in Morocco, and the girls get caught up in the mystery of the missing Audrey for their stay. We see things through the perspective of fifteen year old Margot, the sister that fades into the background. Two attractive neighbours stoke up feelings and desires between the sisters leading to friction. Everything falls apart and decisions are made that cement a bond between the sisters that is stronger than familial ties. In the present, an insecure Jess worries over her fraught relationship with her stepdaughter, Bella, who is hostile and still deeply connected with her dead mother. Applecote Manor seems to offer an ideal and idyllic location to ease their family problems. Bella hears the rumours associated with the Manor and cannot resist looking into the secrets of the house.Eve Chase writes vivid and vibrant prose that reflects the slow pace of life in a rural setting and the long summer days. She evokes the 1950s period well with the sisters coming of age and the excitement of exploring the mystery of Audrey. She connects the impact of past events on the present with the new family with flair. It is a well plotted and character driven book which I found compelling reading. The most gripping part for me was the 1950s aspect of the novel. I recommend this to those who enjoy a slow paced haunting period mystery set around a house with secrets. A great read. Thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
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  • Dem
    June 22, 2017
    4.5 Stars A compelling and atmospheric page turner, a rich gothic tale for lovers of books like the The Thirteenth Tale Set in large period Manor deep in the English countryside a once imposing home but now slightly dilapidated overgrown estate. A house with a sense of intrigue about it and an unsettling history where strange rumours surround the Estate and the family that lived there in the past. Present DayApplecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds a 4.5 Stars A compelling and atmospheric page turner, a rich gothic tale for lovers of books like the The Thirteenth Tale Set in large period Manor deep in the English countryside a once imposing home but now slightly dilapidated overgrown estate. A house with a sense of intrigue about it and an unsettling history where strange rumours surround the Estate and the family that lived there in the past. Present DayApplecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds a perfect escape for her troubled family, far away from London and its madness and a new beginning in a home that she can at last make her own. But the house has a hidden history and strange rumours surround the estate, rumours which the locals are not about to divulge too easily.The FiftiesWhen the four wilde sisters come to stay with their Aunt and Uncle at Applecote Manor, they find that the vanishing of their young cousin Audrey 5 years earlier still remains a mystery and the hot summer of 1959 becomes one they will remember for some time.Beautifull descriptive writing by Eve Chase and a terrific air of suspense with a tightly woven and mysterious plot, I was captivated from beginning to end, for me this is the sort of novel that only comes around once in awhile and not only has the author a remarkable literate style she has a terrific imagination and I have no hesitation in recommending this novel for loves of gothic intrigue and haunting tales where family secrets and period houses come to life.My thanks to NetGalley for an opportunity to read this one in return for an honest review.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    June 22, 2017
    Applecote Manor in 1959 was home for Perry, Sylvia, and Audrey as well as the summer vacation place for the Wildling sisters Margot, Flora, Pam, and Dot until the summer Audrey disappeared.When Audrey disappeared, the girls never went back until one summer when their mother decided she needed to get away from it all. She sent her daughters back to Applecote Manor to stay with their aunt and uncle.This summer wasn't the best for anyone, though. The close knit sisters drew apart, and Margot was ob Applecote Manor in 1959 was home for Perry, Sylvia, and Audrey as well as the summer vacation place for the Wildling sisters Margot, Flora, Pam, and Dot until the summer Audrey disappeared.When Audrey disappeared, the girls never went back until one summer when their mother decided she needed to get away from it all. She sent her daughters back to Applecote Manor to stay with their aunt and uncle.This summer wasn't the best for anyone, though. The close knit sisters drew apart, and Margot was obsessed with finding out what really happened to Audrey. Along with everything else, Aunt Sylvia did a few odd things and kept things from the girls.Meanwhile back to present day at Applecote Manor. Applecote Manor has just been bought by Jessie and Will against the wishes of their rebellious teenage daughter, Bella, who is mourning the loss of her mother. Bella gives her stepmother, Jessie, a rough time by continually making hurtful comments to Jessie about how she isn't her mother. Once Bella finds boxes of her mother's things, the comments get worse.Bella also feels that Applecote Manor still houses the ghost of Audrey and her family. A few things happen that might make that true especially since Bella is living in the attic rooms where Audrey lived.As we go back and forth, we find out the personalities of the characters are mostly carefree in 1959 until the disappearance of Audrey and quite tense in present day.THE WILDLING SISTERS grabs you from the first sentence. Ms. Chase's writing is marvelous, enticing, and detailed.I enjoyed both the present and past stories and loved the descriptions of Applecote Manor and its grounds when they were in pristine shape and in present day when both the house and grounds needed a lot of work.If you like mysteries and family drama, the WILDLING SISTERS is for you. It has a hint of Gothic and an undertone of foreboding.ENJOY!! 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Kathryn
    July 15, 2017
    “Houses are never just houses; I’m quite sure of this now. We leave particles behind, dust and dreams, fingerprints on buried wallpapers, our tread in the wear of the stairs. And we take bits of the houses with us. In my case, a love of the smell of wax polish on sun-warmed oak, late summer sunlight filtering through stained glass. We grow up. We stay the same. We move away, but we live forever where we were most alive.”Houses can be as significant in a story as any character. After all what wou “Houses are never just houses; I’m quite sure of this now. We leave particles behind, dust and dreams, fingerprints on buried wallpapers, our tread in the wear of the stairs. And we take bits of the houses with us. In my case, a love of the smell of wax polish on sun-warmed oak, late summer sunlight filtering through stained glass. We grow up. We stay the same. We move away, but we live forever where we were most alive.”Houses can be as significant in a story as any character. After all what would Rebecca be without Manderley? Or Gone with the Wind without Tara? In The Wildling Sisters, Eve Chase has fashioned another memorable structure, Applecote Manor, set deep within the rustic English countryside. The home of the Wilde family and witness to unimaginable tragedy. Newlywed mother Jessie Tucker instantly falls in love with the crumbling Applecote Manor and lovingly envisions it as a fresh start for her fractious step-daughter Bella. She perceives an “unbroken thread, a pulse of energy, running through the lives of the historic owners, the Wilde family, and their own. It feels like they’re picking up something loved but broken, putting it back together again.” And she’s right. The Wildling Sisters utilizes Kate Morton’s now recognizable format of alternating between present and past. In that past, we see the four Wilde sisters delivered to Applecote Manor by their bohemian mother. There they expect to remain the entire summer with their aunt and uncle; the days stretching endlessly into a vast stream of nothingness. Except when they arrive at Applecote much has changed.Years before their summer sojourn, the Wildes’ cousin Audrey abruptly disappeared. Since then, Aunt Sybil “imprisoned herself behind her own floral swagged curtains.” With the country police botching the investigation, Audrey’s vanishing remains a mystery. Her spectre forever haunting the halls. Sybil maintains that Audrey is sure to return and manifests this delusion by meticulously preserving Audrey’s room. Margot, our narrator and closest to Audrey, is unable to resist the draw. Searching for answers and encouraged by Sybil’s grief, Margot begins to inhabit Audrey’s life. To dreadful consequence. Similarly Jessie’s coping with her own ghost. That of Will’s deceased wife, and Bella’s beloved mother, Mandy. Just as Sybil used Audrey’s untouched bedroom to sustain her delusion, Bella does the same. Bella, housed in Audrey’s former room, regularly dresses in Mandy’s glamorous clothing, clings to her parents love letters, and fashions her new dwelling as a shrine to her mother. Instead of Applecote being a new beginning, Mandy’s presence looms larger than ever. “Something powerful holds Jessie in that room of her own dark imagining, transfixed by the woman she was hoping to escape.” The parallels to Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca are unmistakable. With Sybil & Bella alternatively playing a version of the obsessively grief-stricken Mrs. Danvers and Margot & Jessie, the intimidated Mrs. DeWinter who are both attracted to their charismatic predecessors, yet struggling to escape their shadows. The parallels between the past and present narratives continue throughout the story. Bella attends the same private school as the Wilde sisters, like Margot she fanatically seeks answers to Audrey’s disappearance, even the summer weather is in direct contrast. The past and present inevitably bleed together as secrets from the past are revealed in the present. And ultimately the timelines converge in the same location around a second disappeared girl. Eve Chase is a skillful writer. Her prose is lush and languid, echoing the Wilde sisters’ deliciously scorching summer. Yet, a sense of unease is established early. Hints of violence on the horizon seem stark, purposely so, interrupting both the summer idyll and new home enchantment. It reminds the reader to not make themselves too comfortable. Don’t be hypnotized by Applecote’s pastoral abundance. Darkness awaits. And while I did enjoy this story and Eve Chases’ writing, there are times she focuses on constructing beautiful, melodic prose at the expense of pacing. Not every passage needs flowery description. A balance has to be struck. Otherwise a narrative gets bogged down in purposeless detail and the central thread is lost. Ultimately, The Wildling Sisters is a treatise on sisterhood. About the bond that you share, which cannot be broken, even in the direst of circumstance.Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of the book for review.
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  • Mandy
    July 17, 2017
    I loved "Black Rabbit Hall" by this author and I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this book too. I did, possibly liking her other book slightly more than this one, but it's very close.This is the story of Jessie and Will, who move from the city to the country and settle in Applecote Manor, a rambling house that needs lots of work doing to it.Their story is told along with that of four sisters, Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot, who fifty years before spent an unforgettable summer at Applecote with their Aunt I loved "Black Rabbit Hall" by this author and I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this book too. I did, possibly liking her other book slightly more than this one, but it's very close.This is the story of Jessie and Will, who move from the city to the country and settle in Applecote Manor, a rambling house that needs lots of work doing to it.Their story is told along with that of four sisters, Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot, who fifty years before spent an unforgettable summer at Applecote with their Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry. Their cousin Audrey has been missing for five years when they arrive and Margot, who was closest to Audrey, finds herself wondering what happened to her more and more as the summer goes on.Of course, the writing is exquisite in this book, just as it was in the other book by this author, and the story itself is expertly weaved, each timeline beautifully balanced and equally as enthralling as the other.I really, really enjoyed reading this book, and would not hesitate to recommend it.
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  • Melisa
    March 2, 2017
    I very much enjoyed Eve Chase's previous novel, Black Rabbit Hall , so I was looking forward the author's next book. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much.This story opens with a bang! And then slows down greatly. I had a very difficult time engaging in the story until about the halfway mark when things started to pick up.I believe the dual time narration (one of my favorites!) didn't work for this book. The past story was much more engaging and relevant and interesting than the I very much enjoyed Eve Chase's previous novel, Black Rabbit Hall , so I was looking forward the author's next book. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much.This story opens with a bang! And then slows down greatly. I had a very difficult time engaging in the story until about the halfway mark when things started to pick up.I believe the dual time narration (one of my favorites!) didn't work for this book. The past story was much more engaging and relevant and interesting than the one told in the present. In fact, I feel that the present story wasn't needed at all!I enjoyed the mystery which had a few twists and turns, however story this felt a bit more character driven. It discusses family dynamics and relationships, especially with step-families and siblings.I would give this one 3.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sheila
    February 8, 2017
    4 stars--I really liked it.I read Chase's first book, Black Rabbit Hall, and liked it, and I think I liked this one even more.These dual-timeline novels have a formula to them (one which I enjoy): a dramatic secret in the past leads to healing and character growth in the future. This one follows the formula, but with the added bonus of the "past" story taking place in the late 1950s, which means the players were alive in the "present" narrative as well, contributing to both stories.With this boo 4 stars--I really liked it.I read Chase's first book, Black Rabbit Hall, and liked it, and I think I liked this one even more.These dual-timeline novels have a formula to them (one which I enjoy): a dramatic secret in the past leads to healing and character growth in the future. This one follows the formula, but with the added bonus of the "past" story taking place in the late 1950s, which means the players were alive in the "present" narrative as well, contributing to both stories.With this book, I enjoyed the story and character in both timelines. I thought characterization was nicely done and pacing was good.I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
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  • CL
    July 7, 2017
    Past and present, family drama at its best. The book starts present day and the unkept condition of Applecote Manor and a body. The four grown sisters each with their own problems and the past where sisters close as one unit become divided by the disappearance of their cousin and who is ultimately responsible for that event is only hinted at thru most of the story until the reveal. Great read about family dynamics and how one event can change your life forever. I would like to thank the Publishe Past and present, family drama at its best. The book starts present day and the unkept condition of Applecote Manor and a body. The four grown sisters each with their own problems and the past where sisters close as one unit become divided by the disappearance of their cousin and who is ultimately responsible for that event is only hinted at thru most of the story until the reveal. Great read about family dynamics and how one event can change your life forever. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    February 17, 2017
    I read Eve Chase debut book, Black Rabbit Hall last year and it was such a great book! So, when The Wildling Sisters showed up on NetGalley didn't I hesitate to request the book. Now, I have to admit that this book's cover isn't really a favorite of mine and if not the name of the author had been familiar had I perhaps not have been interested in the book. I just think that the three faces on the cover so oddly placed, like why are the third girls face under the other two's? It's puzzling! Howev I read Eve Chase debut book, Black Rabbit Hall last year and it was such a great book! So, when The Wildling Sisters showed up on NetGalley didn't I hesitate to request the book. Now, I have to admit that this book's cover isn't really a favorite of mine and if not the name of the author had been familiar had I perhaps not have been interested in the book. I just think that the three faces on the cover so oddly placed, like why are the third girls face under the other two's? It's puzzling! However, the cover is the only thing that I have to complain about for the story is superb. Even better than Black Rabbit Hall's and that book was really good. I was instantly pulled into the story and I loved both timelines. Eve Chase has an ability to write that makes it hard to stop reading the book, it feels like you just breeze through the pages, and loved both the story in 1959 about the sisters who are living with the aunt and uncle on the Applecote Manor during the summer after their mother has decided to work abroad. The time has practically stood still in the house since the day five years before when their cousin Audrey disappeared. What happened to her? In the present story has a Jessie and her family moved into the house. For Jessie is this a dream house and a chance to start over fresh after they have lived in a house where her husband lived with his first wife who tragically died. But, soon she wonders if they made a mistake when her stepdaughter tells her that 50 years before a young girl disappeared from the house and was never seen again... I love books with two timelines, and The Wildling Sisters is a fabulous story. I liked both the story in the past and the present and I found the ending very emotional. It's such a beautifully written story, filled with both happiness and sadness.I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    July 9, 2017
    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.I would say that this book was just okay for me. I decided to read this book because the premise sounded really interesting. The story opened with a bang and I was pretty sure that I had made a great decision in picking up this book. After just a few pages, things slowed down. All the way down. I found myself setting the book aside to clean and I hate cleaning. About a third of the way into the book, I seriously considered adding it This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.I would say that this book was just okay for me. I decided to read this book because the premise sounded really interesting. The story opened with a bang and I was pretty sure that I had made a great decision in picking up this book. After just a few pages, things slowed down. All the way down. I found myself setting the book aside to clean and I hate cleaning. About a third of the way into the book, I seriously considered adding it to my dnf pile and moving on to something else. I decided to read just a bit more before quiting and it did pick up. The second half of the book was much more interesting to me and I am glad that I hung in there a bit longer.This is a book that is told in two different periods of time. One story is set in 1959 and features Margot and her three sisters. The other story is set in the present time and features Jesse and her family. The connecting link is Applecote Manor. I knew that eventually the two stories would come together but it took a very long time for that to happen. I found the story that was set in 1959 to be much more interesting than the present day at least for the first half of the book.I did really enjoy this book a lot more once the two timelines started to come together. Both timelines became much more interesting and I wanted to learn what happened to Audrey all of those years ago. I felt for her parents and thought that the way it impacted their lives was illustrated very well. Margot was an interesting character but I never got to really know her sisters very well. Jesse's story really focuses on the relationship between Jesse and her step-daughter Bella. I wanted to see them work things out and come to trust each other more as the story progressed.I think that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it had been told in with just one timeline. As soon as things would get interesting, the time would shift and it slowed everything down for me. I am glad that I read the book but it isn't a favorite. I would like to read more from Eve Chase in the future.I received an advance reader edition of this book from G.P. Putnam's Sons via First to Read.Initial ThoughtsI had a really rough start with this book. I seriously considered giving up on it around page 80 since I really wasn't enjoying it all that much. It wasn't bad but I found myself putting it down to do other things constantly. The second half of the book did pick up and I found myself more focused on the story. It was an okay read in the end.
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  • Holly
    February 12, 2017
    Last year I read Eve's debut novel, Black Rabbit Hall, and absolutely loved it. I was very much looking forward to a new book by her. This one is a dual timeline story taking place in the 1950's to present day. Which these are my favorite types of stories but few authors that can pull it off well. Eve, I'm happy to say, does. She opens with a bang with a body being dragged through the grass. I mean, it just screams for you to finish to find out what happens! I think I enjoyed the past story best Last year I read Eve's debut novel, Black Rabbit Hall, and absolutely loved it. I was very much looking forward to a new book by her. This one is a dual timeline story taking place in the 1950's to present day. Which these are my favorite types of stories but few authors that can pull it off well. Eve, I'm happy to say, does. She opens with a bang with a body being dragged through the grass. I mean, it just screams for you to finish to find out what happens! I think I enjoyed the past story best with the 4 Wilding sisters. I loved their dynamic and their lives better than I did with the present day story. I just didn't like their family dynamics and was happy when we got back to the sisters. I probably would have given this novel 5 stars of it had focused more on the sisters and their missing cousin--it was such a evocative storyline and I wanted more of that. There's no doubt that Eve can write, her storytelling is beautiful. I'm already looking forward to what she writes next.**Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ashley (5171MilesBooks)
    July 1, 2017
    Reviewed on:5171 Miles Book Blog.Let me tell you now, folks, The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase is a summer release you are going to want to pick up. This book captivated me from the very first page. It begins in 1959 at Applecote Manor in Cotswolds, England with the Wilde sisters dragging a body through the landscape. This haunting tale combines past and present perspectives, diverging in the end, to reveal the story of a young girl who unexpectedly vanished. The walls of Applecote Manor haven't Reviewed on:5171 Miles Book Blog.Let me tell you now, folks, The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase is a summer release you are going to want to pick up. This book captivated me from the very first page. It begins in 1959 at Applecote Manor in Cotswolds, England with the Wilde sisters dragging a body through the landscape. This haunting tale combines past and present perspectives, diverging in the end, to reveal the story of a young girl who unexpectedly vanished. The walls of Applecote Manor haven't changed much in decades, but the secrets within are silently screaming to get out. It will only take the right person to uncover them.I cannot rave enough about this novel, as it had numerous elements I loved. To begin with, the cover is instantly eye-catching. When I look at it, I want to know the story the girls are going to tell. What are they up to? What secrets lie behind their eyes? It has such an interesting mystery, just like the pages to follow. I'm also enamored by stories set in England, especially the countryside; I love the written prose of British English; and enjoy reading about the quirks of life in Great Britain. Though this story was set in a beautiful place, it had a haunted feel throughout. I imagined the house speaking the sounds, thoughts, and feelings of its previous occupants.The alternation between the past and present allowed such an enticing story to follow, as both perspectives were equally interesting to me. In the past, the Wilde sisters, endearingly known as the Wildling's are spending an unpleasantly warm summer at their aunt and uncle's home in Cotswolds as their mother goes to find work in Morocco. The sisters come to the manor living and breathing as one unit, but by the end of the summer find their relationship strained by the mystery surrounding their cousin's disappearance and the growing up they individually experience throughout the summertime.Fast forward to present day, Jessie is desperate to start a new life away from the hustle and bustle of London with her husband, young daughter, and her challenging step-daughter, Bella. Applecote Manor seems to be just the ticket to create the family dynamic Jessie has been dreaming of, until she discovers the house may have more secrets than her small blended family.Tidbits about the past are revealed though each viewpoint, keeping the plot always interesting. I could not put this book down, not even because I was anxious to find out the mystery behind Audrey's disappearance (of course, I was), but simply because I enjoyed the enveloping feel of this story. I haven't been completely drawn into a novel in ages, feeling like I'm living out the movie of the story in my head. Eve Chase's writing was like travelling through time and across the ocean to an eerie place I wasn't quite ready to leave. Her similes were thought provoking and expressive, the imagery made me feel like I was there, and the voices of her characters were realistic in the best possible way. Simply, this is well-written tale worth reading immediately. It has quickly taken over the top place as my favorite book of this genre for 2017.Pick up this book when it releases on July 25th! The Wildling Sisters will send just enough chills up your spine to keep you cool this summer.Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin/Putnam for allowing 5171 Miles Book Blog to review this novel.
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  • Pamela
    July 17, 2017
    Dual time-line stories are one of my favorite, but this one lacked a little something in the present story. I enjoyed the past timeline much better, let's face it, that's where all the secrets are! I found the present family to be a little boring, maybe if they had been related to the sisters, it might have been more engaging.Applecote Manor and the area were deftly described and I felt the presence of the house in the writing.Ms. Chase brings the Wilde family to life for us, even Uncle Perry an Dual time-line stories are one of my favorite, but this one lacked a little something in the present story. I enjoyed the past timeline much better, let's face it, that's where all the secrets are! I found the present family to be a little boring, maybe if they had been related to the sisters, it might have been more engaging.Applecote Manor and the area were deftly described and I felt the presence of the house in the writing.Ms. Chase brings the Wilde family to life for us, even Uncle Perry and his sweaty palms. A nicely done mystery with some twists, and good characterization.**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
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  • Cathy
    July 15, 2017
    Find all my book reviews, plus author interviews, guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/4.5 stars From the opening chapter, there is an absorbing atmosphere of mystery that the author skilfully maintains throughout the book. Alternating between past and present, there are subtle links, echoes and common themes in both stories. Often, in a dual time narrative such as this, I find myself more drawn to the parts set in the past. However, in this case, I Find all my book reviews, plus author interviews, guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/4.5 stars From the opening chapter, there is an absorbing atmosphere of mystery that the author skilfully maintains throughout the book. Alternating between past and present, there are subtle links, echoes and common themes in both stories. Often, in a dual time narrative such as this, I find myself more drawn to the parts set in the past. However, in this case, I felt equally engaged in both stories.Despite her unexplained disappearance five years earlier, Audrey is a constant, silent, almost ghostly, presence in the story set in the past.‘There’s a patter of small footsteps. A swing of plait. A flick of yellow ribbon. Something pulls at the edges, a darkness that no one dare name.’Similarly, Will’s first wife, Mandy, exerts a similar influence on the story set in the present. There are with echoes of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca in Jessie’s fixation with her predecessor, so much more stylish and accomplished she imagines than she is. But of course, the second Mrs de Winter never had to deal with a rebellious step-daughter. In fact, Jessie’s sense that she can never live up to Mandy in the memories of her step-daughter and husband, form a barrier and blind her to what is really going on. Every set back, Jessie interprets as a sign of Mandy’s ‘triumph’ from beyond the grave.There is lovely descriptive writing about the countryside that conjures up an idyllic summer that seems somehow frozen in time: ‘The river drifts lazily ahead, twisting gently, wide as a country lane, willow trees kissing the cloudy green surface.’ However, beneath the idyll there are hints of danger, secrets and mystery.I enjoyed the way the book explored themes of identity. For instance, how Audrey and Margot looked similar, could be mistaken for each other even and the effect this has on Margot and others around her.‘I ask myself, what would Audrey do right now if she were me, and I her, and our fates had been swapped, like straw boaters, as they so easily might have been in the jumble of the last days of summer?’Or the way in which the bond between Margot and her sisters – so strong in the beginning, almost telepathic – starts to unravel. Margot even starts to envy Audrey her status as an only child, seeing her as ‘a sweet-sharp cordial undiluted by siblings’. Similarly, Jessie’s hope that the move to Applecote will help the family come together seem precarious, as if the house is determined that the secrets of the past must emerge.‘She wonders about the other thing lying dormant at Applecote, waiting for the right conditions to come alive.’In the slow unveiling of the facts behind Audrey’s disappearance, the author certainly sent this reader up a few dead ends. I enjoyed the author’s previous book, Black Rabbit Hall, but thought this was even better.I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers, Michael Joseph, in return for an honest review.
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  • Thebooktrail
    June 16, 2017
    Eve Chase wrote Black Rabbit Hall which built a very idyllic yet gothic mansion deep in the English countryside. Here we have Applecote with secrets within its walls and what went on there all those years ago made me shiver.I do love a good dual time line novel and this just sang to me. The opening chapter was one of the best and suspenseful I’d read in a while. The time line stories really fitted with the themes and setting but I did prefer the story in the past. The house was at the centre of Eve Chase wrote Black Rabbit Hall which built a very idyllic yet gothic mansion deep in the English countryside. Here we have Applecote with secrets within its walls and what went on there all those years ago made me shiver.I do love a good dual time line novel and this just sang to me. The opening chapter was one of the best and suspenseful I’d read in a while. The time line stories really fitted with the themes and setting but I did prefer the story in the past. The house was at the centre of a deliciously hidden and evocative time - the secret which broke that all apart, and made the house what it is today.I felt part of the scene - sitting in the hot summer grass, the grand house behind me.There’s some lovely writing in this book “We move away but we live for ever where we were most alive”. A novel to read with a glass of something cold and the promise of a sunny escape with clouds of intrigue and darkness on the horizonThere is lots of scene setting , some intriguing characters, a weaving tale and the result is a captivating read.
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  • Marjorie
    June 13, 2017
    Jessie hopes that a move to the country will help her relationship with her teenage step daughter, Bella. Jessie is also trying to escape from being surrounded by memories of her husband’s deceased wife, Mandy, and wants a fresh start. But their new home is not the haven that Jessie had hoped for. Bella is caught up in the disappearance of a young girl, Audrey, some 50 years ago.The book fluctuates between telling the present-day story of Jessie and the story of the missing Audrey 50 years ago. Jessie hopes that a move to the country will help her relationship with her teenage step daughter, Bella. Jessie is also trying to escape from being surrounded by memories of her husband’s deceased wife, Mandy, and wants a fresh start. But their new home is not the haven that Jessie had hoped for. Bella is caught up in the disappearance of a young girl, Audrey, some 50 years ago.The book fluctuates between telling the present-day story of Jessie and the story of the missing Audrey 50 years ago. Five years after Audrey’s disappearance, Margot and her three sisters are sent off by their mother to stay with Audrey’s parents, their Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry. Sybil and Perry have been housebound since their daughter’s disappearance and pretty much shunned by their neighbors since Perry had been a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance. Margot is pulled into the strange world Audrey has left behind and the sisters are drawn apart by the attentions of two young men. When disaster strikes, hard decisions need to be made.This is the second book by this author and I’ve had the pleasure of reading them both. I very much enjoy the characters and atmosphere that she creates in her books. While in many ways, it’s a typical tale of an old English house with past secrets, the author has quite a knack for bringing her characters to life and has wonderful insight into the human heart. Spellbinding and recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • DJ Sakata
    July 25, 2017
    Favorite Quotes:Jessie is sure her little girl will love the freedom of the countryside, just as she did as a kid, all those secret nooks of childhood, tiny worlds invisible to grown-up eyes.There’s a thrill that comes with being awake when everyone else is lost in sleep. I don’t feel rushed. Or watched. Time even passes differently, molding itself around me like a kid glove on warm skin.…our aunt and uncle step around each other like awkwardly placed furniture or guests at a party with a long-r Favorite Quotes:Jessie is sure her little girl will love the freedom of the countryside, just as she did as a kid, all those secret nooks of childhood, tiny worlds invisible to grown-up eyes.There’s a thrill that comes with being awake when everyone else is lost in sleep. I don’t feel rushed. Or watched. Time even passes differently, molding itself around me like a kid glove on warm skin.…our aunt and uncle step around each other like awkwardly placed furniture or guests at a party with a long-running feud… All our lives we’ve been brought up to want what Sybil has: a marriage to a firstborn son, a big house, a loyal maid, the clawed silver sugar tongs, a gold carriage clock ticking down to the next wedding anniversary. And yet Sybil grinds pepper over her boiled egg in the morning as if she’d like to wring the neck of the chicken who laid it.My parents prefer not to think, Margot. They simply decide on a course and stick to it, like ocean liners.Flora starts to flirt, fluttering her long lashes. I get a sudden unsisterly urge to pick them out one by one like legs from a spider.My Review:The Wildling Sisters kept me on edge, although I was immediately taken with the author’s writing style and remained intensely fascinated with the cleverly nuanced storyline as well as with the compelling and complex characters. The premise was unique and the writing was spellbinding and exceptionally well-crafted. Ms. Chase demonstrated uncanny word craft and repeatedly and deftly created an intense ambiance that could shift within a sentence. The story was cunningly and maddeningly paced and entailed two timelines, fifty years apart, in the same eerily creepy manor house in the quiet English countryside. The house and grounds contained a devastating mystery that prevailed over those fifty years, and long held secrets that also provided a peculiar and unnatural undercurrent to the tale. I was enthralled and so intrigued I warily read late into the night, a bit fearful of each new turn in the story, although I adored the author’s colorful and insightfully observed descriptions that triggered sharp visuals to flicker through my brain. The narrative also provided amusing smirk-worthy analogies and comical details. Eve Chase has mad skills.
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  • Louise
    June 7, 2017
    Loved Black Rabbit Hall, and loved this too. Sad to finish, but thank you Eve Chase for hours of enjoyment.
  • Kirsty
    April 29, 2017
    I had one of those fussy reading days, where I could not decide upon what to read. After browsing a few of the tomes on my Kindle, and reading the odd synopsis, I plumped for The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, the second novel by Eve Chase. I could not have made a better choice. The entirety of the novel is beautifully written, and it is peppered with such lush and lavish descriptions that the prose almost hums with vividness. The interlinking stories, told in alternating chapters, work wonderfully, I had one of those fussy reading days, where I could not decide upon what to read. After browsing a few of the tomes on my Kindle, and reading the odd synopsis, I plumped for The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, the second novel by Eve Chase. I could not have made a better choice. The entirety of the novel is beautifully written, and it is peppered with such lush and lavish descriptions that the prose almost hums with vividness. The interlinking stories, told in alternating chapters, work wonderfully, and the Gothic elements woven throughout were wonderfully effective. The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde reminded me of Kate Morton's earlier books, which I very much enjoyed, but it is elevated above them all from its punchy introductory chapter, to its intrigue. Rich and deftly constructed, tense, and absorbing, I could hardly bear to put it down. A fantastic novel.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    June 23, 2017
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/“You have a splinter of ice in your heart, Pam.”“And you, my strange little sister…” she holds the paperweight up to the light and turns it so slowly that the cobalt swirl of colored glass in its center seems to move, like a girl twisting, dancing in a blue dress. “You have a ghost in yours.” In 1959, while their unconventional mother takes the opportunity to work in Morocco, a much welcomed break from single parenting, the Wildling Girls ( Isla via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/“You have a splinter of ice in your heart, Pam.”“And you, my strange little sister…” she holds the paperweight up to the light and turns it so slowly that the cobalt swirl of colored glass in its center seems to move, like a girl twisting, dancing in a blue dress. “You have a ghost in yours.” In 1959, while their unconventional mother takes the opportunity to work in Morocco, a much welcomed break from single parenting, the Wildling Girls ( Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot) are sent for the summer to Applecote Manor in the Cotwalds. Their cousin Audrey’s disappearance has left their aunt and uncle changed in different ways, and there are secrets, ‘omissions’ that plunge the family into darkness. Margot’s presence, her secret explorations in her beloved missing cousin’s rooms sets off strange behavior in her aunt Sybil. The emotional state of her aunt is the most sorrowful weight of the entire novel, the terrifying confusion of loss, the denial of cold reality and the hungry need to transfer the longing for her missing daughter unto Margot. Hope will not die in Sybil’s heart, she can’t leave Applecote, not when her every living breath is electric with the possibility that Audrey could return at any moment. Margot loved Audrey in a way the other sisters didn’t, sharing a private world that left the other sister’s out, someone all for herself until Audrey began to blossom, she adored her daring cousin. Their last summer together Audrey was changing, and how could she have guessed it would be her final goodbye. “Audrey’s home life seemed to me like a never-ending birthday party, albeit without any other guests- until we arrived.” Needing truth, not the evasiveness of the adults, Margot wants to pick of the remains of Audrey’s life. What better place than her room, untouched by the years of her absence?The sisters are thick as thieves, even in their sisterly pestering of one another, there is love but with the arrival of young men, loyalties will be tested. As their mother always said, ‘Your face must be your fortune, girls, ” Ma will say with a shrug. “I won’t pretend otherwise.” But what does that mean for Margot, the less memorable of the daughters? What happens when she gets a taste of attention, just how dangerous can passion be? The sister’s yearning may lead them astray, risk their very lives or fray their ties to each other. One thing is certain, they will be haunted by this summer for years to come.Current day, Jess has come to said home to escape life in London and her husband’s deceased wife Mandy, whose presence is still alive everywhere she looks in their home. Mandy, much more glamorous and put together than messy, earthy, girl next door Jess,who can’t help but feel inferior to his former wife. Her step-daughter Bella isn’t about to let Jess usurp her mother’s memory, nor is she willing to let Jess love her. All she wants is things back to the way they once were, when it was just Bella and her father Will. Forced together at Applecote, Jess starts to fear for her daughter Romy and sees troubling behavior in young Bella. Could she really want to harm her half sister? Jess has been spiraling out of control, and the countryside doesn’t seem to be helping her one bit. Nothing does, not therapy and she certainly doesn’t want to take the hand Jess has been reaching out to her. What is Jess to do, isolated with a teenager she doesn’t trust, and often fears? Will is never home, he doesn’t see the things in Bella that Jess does. And what of the home’s past, that seems to be haunted by reminders, pictures, pieces to a puzzle that have been left unsolved for decades. Bella won’t let the things she hears die, she intends to find out the truth about their new home, disrupting the past- the hopeful escape and new beginning Jess was hoping for, which may well be eclipsed by darkness.This is an engaging tale from past to present, a summer of passion and longing, fear and mystery and the ghosts that tail us through time. Everyone is haunted by something. I enjoyed the present day story but really wanted to spend my time in the past with the Wildling Sisters.Publication Date: July 25, 2017Penguin
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  • Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
    July 20, 2017
    The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is a novel published on 13th July by Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin Books). Written by Eve Chase, I knew from the first page that this was a book that would captivate me completely and it didn't disappoint.Applecote Manor, a place that nestles among the trees in the Cotswolds. For Jessie it is the perfect house to raise her family, a place that she can envision evenings in front of a roaring fire, as the elements batter the walls of the house. A place where The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is a novel published on 13th July by Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin Books). Written by Eve Chase, I knew from the first page that this was a book that would captivate me completely and it didn't disappoint.Applecote Manor, a place that nestles among the trees in the Cotswolds. For Jessie it is the perfect house to raise her family, a place that she can envision evenings in front of a roaring fire, as the elements batter the walls of the house. A place where she can reconnect with her step-daughter Bella after the exhaustion of the constant clash of personalities.Will, her husband, is hesitant about the move. His life, his business, his memories of his first wife Mandy are all in London where he has always called home.But Jessie can be very persuasive and after much discussion the family decide on a fresh start, a new life, a country life. Romy, their youngest daughter is delighted with the move but Bella is not. From the very beginning she expresses her negative feelings about Applecote Manor, convinced that the house has many secrets hidden in it's walls and crevices. Jessie is insistent that this will be a new beginning for them all, a fresh start.But is Bella right? What history is Applecote Manor hiding?1959, the year a sweltering and prolonged heatwave swept across parts of the UK. Margot Wilde and her three sisters, Flora, Pam and Dot are packed off to stay with their relatives in the country while their mother travels abroad for a year. After the death of their father, the four sisters have a very close bond and have always been there for one another. Their mother has struggled to support them, either emotionally or financially, and she readily accepts a position of work in Marrakesh, leaving the girls to the care of her brother-in-law, Perry and his wife, Sybil who live in Applecote Manor.Margot and her sisters are aware of the tragedy that took place at Applecote Manor, that their cousin Audrey vanished one day, never to return home again. Sybil and Perry, are happy to accept the Wilde girls into their home, but now it is a house filled with sorrow, with the memory of Audrey ever present.Eve Chase has written a compelling dual-time story, linking two families together across generations and with many buried secrets. The story of Margot and her sisters, although tainted by tragedy and sadness, is a coming-of-age story, vividly portrayed with the most beautiful imagery of an era long past.I was captivated from the opening pages, with every description imprinted so clearly in my mind. The story of Jessie and her family is expertly interwoven with the past. There is great fluidity to Eve Chase's writing, drawing the reader into the story with such a beautiful narrative throughout.The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is a charming and absorbing novel, abundant with nostalgic imagery and an ethereal appeal.I recommend!!!
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  • Savanah Lowder
    May 31, 2017
    Thanks to the Penguin First to Read Program for advance access to this book in exchange for an honest review!The Wildling Sisters reminds me of old school V.C. Andrews novels meets Pretty Little Liars? Maybe not in the best way. Like Andrews, Chase uses beautiful words to describe ugly events. I thought I would like it, I really did. It started off with a bang, after all. Unfortunately, most of the story fell a little flat for me.The WritingSo The Wildling Sisters has alternate timelines.One fro Thanks to the Penguin First to Read Program for advance access to this book in exchange for an honest review!The Wildling Sisters reminds me of old school V.C. Andrews novels meets Pretty Little Liars? Maybe not in the best way. Like Andrews, Chase uses beautiful words to describe ugly events. I thought I would like it, I really did. It started off with a bang, after all. Unfortunately, most of the story fell a little flat for me.The WritingSo The Wildling Sisters has alternate timelines.One from the fifties, involving the four Wilde sisters. This is in first-person, present-tense, with Margot, the second youngest, as our narrator. This writing was quick and felt authentic, while still being believable for how a kid would speak in the fifties/sixties.The other was present day, yet somehow felt antiquated. The writing was slower, drawn-out. This is personal preference, but I do not need six paragraphs to describe a garden. I felt myself being removed from the story fairly often during times of over-explanation (there was NONE of this in the alternate timeline). Also personal preference, this portion is written in third-person present-tense, which I have expressed my distaste for in the past. It is just uncomfortable for me to read.The alternating is fairly hard to pull off, and I felt it missed the mark in this case. At the beginning, I enjoyed the story of the Wilde sisters far more than the more modern timeline, which made it easy for me to walk away at the end of chapters.The CharactersAre very believable, which is one thing I really enjoyed about this. They definitely don't act in ways we like, but at least for most of the story, they act how people in their situation would. Which is to say that a lot of the time, they do terrible things. Just like people would, were they actually missing a daughter or cousin or former friend.The modern story had unpleasant family dynamics, which just had me further realizing that it didn't have enough to do, in my opinion, with the story we really want, the mystery involved with the Wilde family.Unfortunately, several of the characters seemed to rest on stereotypes. Even the sisters, who we love as a unit, don't all have believable arcs and personal agency.The PacingHad some issues. It starts off, immediately, with the Wilde sisters, in the fifties, dragging a body. Super interesting. I immediately felt drawn in. Unfortunately, after two pages of this, the story slows drastically in both the modern family and the original, and it takes more than half the book to pick back up. When it does pick back up, things get weird.The PlotIs strange. There isn't a lot I can say, because spoilers, but wow. What starts off as normal progression through teenage summer and the loss of a loved one gets straight bizarre. 3/4 of the way in, the four young girls we've come to know feel and act incredibly irrationally, both within their close-knit group and out of it.My final thoughtIs that I would really, really love to see young women who don't act insane around boys. Jealousy of a prettier woman is also a pretty significant plot point, and I'd love to see less of this also.
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  • Jena
    July 9, 2017
    “It’s not the dead who suffer. It’s the living, you see.”The Wilding Sisters is an exceptional book that spans the lives of two families separated by decades.In the 1950’s, we are introduced to the Wilding sisters. A group of four girls, raised by a bohemian mother in London. The highlight of their summers used to be visiting their cousin in the country and losing themselves in the magic of Applecote Manor. But tragedy strikes, and those summers come to an end. Until several years later, when th “It’s not the dead who suffer. It’s the living, you see.”The Wilding Sisters is an exceptional book that spans the lives of two families separated by decades.In the 1950’s, we are introduced to the Wilding sisters. A group of four girls, raised by a bohemian mother in London. The highlight of their summers used to be visiting their cousin in the country and losing themselves in the magic of Applecote Manor. But tragedy strikes, and those summers come to an end. Until several years later, when their mother decides to send them back for one final summer.Over 50 years later, Jessie, a young mother and struggling step-mother, sees the magic in Applecote Manor. She sees the crumbing estate as the chance to escape London, where her husbands deceased ex-wife holds them all hostage, especially her teenage daughter, Bella. In Applecote, she sees the chance to heal, to escape, to rebuild.We flip back and forth in time. Margot tells us her story from the past, and Jessie from the present, but the mystery and tragedy around Audrey refuses to disappear, intertwining and impacting both womens lives. Margot wants desperately to know what happened, thinking that the answer will somehow save them all, especially her Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry.“For the first time since she went missing, I realize I desperately need to know the truth.”Jessie wants the mystery and rumor of Audrey to simply go away. She is terrified that the truth will taint Applecote, thereby making the idea of uniting her family impossible. Bella clings to this mystery, obsessing over every small artifact she finds in the yard or buried within the house. Even worse, she has turned her room into a living shrine to her mother, Mandy, shocking Jessie with the totality of it. Mandy on every space on the wall. Mandy’s clothes. Mandy everywhere. Between clinging to her mother’s memory and her determination to uncover the mystery of Applecote, Bella is farther away from accepting Jessie than ever before.“Bella’s face simply empties, and she runs upstairs, slams her bedroom door in the way only Bella can slam it, like an act of war.”This book is quite a powerful discussion on the relationships women have with each other. Sister. Mothers. Daughters. They are all complicated and complex.At the beginning of the summer, Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot, are a tightly knit unit. They are united against the world. But the more time they spend at Applecote starts to introduce small divisions. Secrets and unspoken changes. When two young men stroll through the meadow, the divisions become more pronounced as each sister, except Dot, see each other as competition for the first time.The summer continues, driving the sisters further apart until a shocking turn of events forces them to decide: will they go their separate ways, or unite together again?For Jessie and Bella, their timeline isn’t over the course of a summer, but rather a winter. The symbolism of the corresponding seasons is striking and appropriate, and I felt really highlighted the differing tensions between the relationships. Hot and passionate, versus cold and indifferent.“She had no idea that trying to love Bella, let alone parent her as she grew into an angry teen, would be like trying to hug an animal that wanted to sink its teeth into her neck.”The tension between Jessie and Bella is different. Bella does not want Jessie or her step-sister around. She would rather have her mother back, but in absence of that, would much prefer to simply have it be just her and her father. She is resentful and cold. But some of her behavior with her peers in London and then to her younger sister Remy are concerning to Jessie. Distrust blooms, which puts significant strain on Jessie’s marriage.“There’s something in Bella’s gaze that is just not sisterly sometimes, not even particularly human.”Even though there is an element of mystery, in regards to the mystery of Audrey woven between the two narratives, this really isn’t a mystery. There are parallels set up for comparison, or maybe even to simply observe, the complexity of love.Margot and her sisters have a mother, but she is flighty and irresponsible. She is not someone seen as deserving of four daughters. In contrast, Sybil, a woman where motherhood is more natural, lost her only daughter Audrey to mysterious circumstances.Jessie is Remy’s mother, but Bella’s mother died, unexpectedly and tragically. There is no mystery to the loss, but it doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Unlike Sybil though, who tries to find Audrey in Margot, Bella doesn’t want a replacement in Jessie. She wants less while Sybil, and even to some extent Margot, wants more.There is also the contrast between the sisterly relationships. Margot and her sisters are an intimate tribe when they first arrive at Applecote. A unified front against the world. An oasis that they know they can always rely on. At least they were. But Harry and Tom bring out a competition never before known, and words from their mother suddenly begin to make more sense.“Brothers always want to murder each other, Ma would shrug, It’s sisters you need to look out for. They’re the ones who can break your heart.”It’s interesting that men are the divider in both relationships. Between the sisters, because they all want the attention that only two will win. With Bella and Jessie, they both are vying for Will’s attention. Even though Jessie still wants to mother Bella, Bella’s rejection sets the stage for them to compete. Men, both knowingly and unknowingly, are the catalyst for division.Tragedy and shocking events also shake Jessie’s world, but it is Bella who has to decide whether she will accept Jessie or not. This acceptance is pivotal in determining the future of this small family.Secrets and betrayals and heartbreak unfold slowly as we come to the end. And even though the timelines are decades apart, the resolution fits them all succinctly together. Questions are answered, and while some leave you reeling, they are all satisfying.I really enjoyed reading this book. The pacing was perfect. Each chapter ended with just enough momentum that you felt the mystery building. Each story was framed to be solid on it’s own, but left enough clues that you knew they tied together, but you weren’t quite sure how. It was suspenseful without being terrifying.The writing is breathtaking. Some sentences and passages are so beautiful they hurt.“The dusk sky is aflame, volcanic and otherworldly, like something might actually be about to happen.”There is magic in her descriptions. Chase captures the struggle to be a sister, a mother, a wife, in all it’s difficulty with the same lyrical precision. There is heartbreak in love. And in letting go.Finally, I think the examination of death is one of the most captivating pieces of this novel. Not actually knowing makes Sybil and Margot hold on to Audrey. What begins as hope turns unhealthy and obsessive. A refusal to mourn and grieve. Yet Bella is dealing with the opposite. Knowing her mother is dead and refusing to move on anyway.Life and death. Love and loss. These are complex issues that we all can relate to and identify with. I loved the story and how these issues were framed and explored. And I absolutely loved the writing. It was gorgeous. Very well done.This book comes out July 25. Thank you so much to the First to Read program through Penguin Random House, and to Putnam books for allowing me to read this beautiful novel.
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  • Emily at Reaching While Rooted
    June 28, 2017
    "You have to force yourself to do the things you're most scared of. You have to face your darkest fears, don't you? ... Only then you can you survive yourself."The Wildling Sisters is a dual-timeline book set in 1959 and present day. This is former journalist Eve Chase's second book after Black Rabbit Hall and is a historical fiction novel with elements of Gothic horror. The scene opens with a body being dragged and events quickly grows from there. The novel takes place at the Applecote manor in "You have to force yourself to do the things you're most scared of. You have to face your darkest fears, don't you? ... Only then you can you survive yourself."The Wildling Sisters is a dual-timeline book set in 1959 and present day. This is former journalist Eve Chase's second book after Black Rabbit Hall and is a historical fiction novel with elements of Gothic horror. The scene opens with a body being dragged and events quickly grows from there. The novel takes place at the Applecote manor in the Cotswolds and is centralized around four sisters spending one last summer with their aunt and uncle before diving into womanhood, and what occurs. Applecote has secrets... Five years prior the sisters' cousin Audrey disappeared, and their aunt and uncle were never the same since. Margot, being the third of the four sisters is fifteen and at an awkward place: she is not as pretty or mature as her two older sisters, but is not the child she once was. Being the sister closest to Audrey before the girl disappears, she is most curious about this missing girl: trying to put herself in the girl's place and asking all the questions everyone else around her seems to avoid. As the Summer goes on and events begin to occur the four sisters who were formerly close begin to distance one another until they are strangers. Fast-forward to the present: Jessie is newly married to Will, a handsome widower with a brooding teen daughter. Jessie moves her family out to the country from London in a desperate attempt to get away from the overwhelming presence that is Will's former wife. Her teenage step-daughter has been struggling to adjust to the loss of her mother, and Jessie hopes that this move will be the fresh start that the new family needs. But the past refuses to stay buried so that as the family begins to settle into their new home, the ghosts and memories of things back come to haunt them.Dual-timelines can be hard to pull off, but I thought that this book was superbly written. It was a refreshing departure from the norm in that because the book was set in 1959 the characters from the past were still alive in the present. It was the perfect before and after snapshot and provided a closure that can be missing in other books that utilize a dual narrative.And the romance. There was love in all its complexities: the love of sisterhood, of motherhood, and the newly realized love of a young woman. The book was not steamy yet it was not prude, Chase writes with finesse. The story made me recall the relationships that made up my own teenage years: the emotions that can consume you at that age.The character development was surprising and dynamic. Chase does a good job drawing out the nuances and bonds between sisters, for better or for worse. I saw myself a lot in Jessie, her feelings regarding Will's last wife struck a chord in me. She's unsure of herself and her place, and those insecurities make her more human and likable to me. Jessie is the type of woman that I could see myself befriending in real life.Particularly compelling was the mystery and richness of Applecote: the Gothic motifs of the story (one of my favorite genres) drew me into the book and kept me intrigued. I am reading Jane Eyre right now and I couldn't help but draw comparisons between the two.The Wildling Sisters is the perfect novel for an upper YA reader: girls who are starting to navigate the waters of womanhood would especially benefit from the novel, or fans of Gothic fiction and thrillers. In turns chilling and inspiring, The Wildling Sisters is one to keep an eye on.*Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.
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  • DubaiReader
    June 29, 2017
    Is Audrey still alive?I'm glad to say I enjoyed this even more than Eve Chase's first book, Black Rabbit Hall. While both books were beautifully written, I thought The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde was a more involving story. I also noticed that both books revolved around an old building which appears as an old wreck in the present day but a vibrant home in a previous era, and both include families of four children.In current time, Applecoat Manor is purchased by Jessie and Will, who need to leave L Is Audrey still alive?I'm glad to say I enjoyed this even more than Eve Chase's first book, Black Rabbit Hall. While both books were beautifully written, I thought The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde was a more involving story. I also noticed that both books revolved around an old building which appears as an old wreck in the present day but a vibrant home in a previous era, and both include families of four children.In current time, Applecoat Manor is purchased by Jessie and Will, who need to leave London to get away from negative influences in Will's teenage daughter's life. Will is recently married to Jessie after the death of his first wife, Mandy. Jessie had moved into Mandy's house and she is hoping the move into the countryside will also clear some of the memories of Mandy's presence. Her own child, Romy is still young and adores her step-sister, Bella, but Jessie isn't sure she can trust Bella to be alone with Romy. Circumstances necessitate that Will is in London for most of the week so Jessie has to juggle this new life alone, with a young child and a resentful step-daughter.The house they buy had been the home of Sybil, Percy and their daughter, Audrey, until Audrey's disappearance in 1954. Sybil refuses to accept the possibility that Audrey might be dead and has kept her bedroom as it was when she last slept there.Sybil's sister is an unconventional single mother to four vivacious daughters, Flora, Pam, Margot and Dot, and when the opportunity comes up for her to work a few months in Morocco, she asks if her girls can spend the summer at Applecoat Manor. The girls have not been back to the old house since Audrey's disappearance, although prior to that they had spent every summer there. Now, five years later, they return with trepidation. Their Aunt and Uncle welcome them but appear very different to the carefree parents they had once been.What had happened to Audrey, and who is the young man being dragged across the grass in the dramatic opening pages of the book? What exactly went on during that long hot summer of 1954?There is a wonderful collision between past and present, though I won't say any more about that.As with Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase writes beautifully and with humour:'At each corner of the pool stands a goddess statue, fragile, beautiful, broken, like survivors of some terrible natural disaster.' (Loc 625)Romy: 'Where does the sky end and space begin?' 'If God is everywhere, is He in the bristles of my hairbrush?' (Loc 268)I loved this book, wonderfully atmospheric, with totally convincing characters. The interactions between the four sisters were fascinating and the story held my attention. I did have a bit of a problem adjusting time frames but I'm sure that just reflects how involved I had become in the narrative.Loved the cover too.Also read:Black Rabbit Hall (3.5 stars)
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  • Louise Marley
    July 17, 2017
    During the hot summer of 1959, Margot and her three sisters are dumped at Applecote Manor by their feckless mother - and into the care of their aunt and uncle, whose own young daughter disappeared five years previously. It is unsettling for them, not least because their cousin Audrey still 'haunts' the house; her bedroom is as she left it, her parents have obviously never got over the shock, and the villagers regard the family with deep suspicion.In the present day, Jessie and Will are hoping fo During the hot summer of 1959, Margot and her three sisters are dumped at Applecote Manor by their feckless mother - and into the care of their aunt and uncle, whose own young daughter disappeared five years previously. It is unsettling for them, not least because their cousin Audrey still 'haunts' the house; her bedroom is as she left it, her parents have obviously never got over the shock, and the villagers regard the family with deep suspicion.In the present day, Jessie and Will are hoping for a new start in the now ramshackle Applecote Manor, along with their young daughter Romy, and Will's rebellious teenage daughter Bella.I loved everything about this book. It ticked every box for me: family secrets, an old mystery and a spooky house. I found the 1959 timeline authentic and totally absorbing. By contrast, it was the present day part that felt more dreamlike - but in a good way! This concentrated on the increasing tensions between Jessie and Will, and the never-that-great-to-begin-with relationship between Jessie and her step-daughter, whom she can never quite bring herself to trust. When Bella becomes obsessed with the history of the house, and the teenage girl who disappeared sixty years previously, Jessie feels own her grip on reality begin to unravel. Will the sinister atmosphere of the house destroy them? And will the tragic events of sixty years ago start to repeat themselves?The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde* is part coming-of-age, part gothic mystery/romance, and part psychological suspense. It's brilliantly written, with memorable characters, and is very cleverly plotted. I loved the relationships between the four sisters, the sibling rivalry over the village boys, and the way they ultimately looked out for each other. For fans of Kate Morton, Daphne du Maurier, and perhaps Shirley Jackson too. One of my favourite reads this year.Thank you to Eve Chase, Michael Joseph and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.*Published as The Wilding Sisters in the USA.
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  • Leah
    July 16, 2017
    With a haunting atmosphere (and a possibly haunted house), The Wildling Sisters is exactly the kind of moody, brooding mystery I love. Though I did prefer one storyline over the other, the book as a whole was phenomenal. Eve Chase is a master at what she does: Jesse's bleak, isolating winter in her new home, Margot's unsettling summer, my emotions were on high alert with every turn of the page. Black Rabbit Hall is still solidly on its pedestal, but The Wildling Sisters is a fantastically strong With a haunting atmosphere (and a possibly haunted house), The Wildling Sisters is exactly the kind of moody, brooding mystery I love. Though I did prefer one storyline over the other, the book as a whole was phenomenal. Eve Chase is a master at what she does: Jesse's bleak, isolating winter in her new home, Margot's unsettling summer, my emotions were on high alert with every turn of the page. Black Rabbit Hall is still solidly on its pedestal, but The Wildling Sisters is a fantastically strong follow-up and just a plain good read. With two excellent novels under her belt, I'm even more excited to see where Eve Chase goes next!For the full review and more, head over to The Pretty Good Gatsby!
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  • Colette Lamberth
    July 13, 2017
    I really enjoyed this book particularly the segments set in 1959 which really evoked that time period in a cinematic fashion. I found I would get so caught up in them that it was quite a surprise when the narrative switched back to present day. A great study of families and the bond between sisters. The ending was the cherry on the cake for me and caused a wee happy tear in my eye.I received an ARC of The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde via NetGalley and my thanks to the publisher Michael Joseph for t I really enjoyed this book particularly the segments set in 1959 which really evoked that time period in a cinematic fashion. I found I would get so caught up in them that it was quite a surprise when the narrative switched back to present day. A great study of families and the bond between sisters. The ending was the cherry on the cake for me and caused a wee happy tear in my eye.I received an ARC of The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde via NetGalley and my thanks to the publisher Michael Joseph for that.
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  • Leonie Byrne
    June 4, 2017
    The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is the first novel I've read by Eve Chase and I was drawn to it by the comparison to novels by Kate Morton who is one of my favourite authors. I totally get that comparison as well, the writing style is equally as beautiful as Kate's and the storyline very similar in that it juxtaposes between present day and the past, as the mystery unravels. One half of the novel sets us in the summer of 1959 as four sisters; Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot go to stay with their aunt a The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is the first novel I've read by Eve Chase and I was drawn to it by the comparison to novels by Kate Morton who is one of my favourite authors. I totally get that comparison as well, the writing style is equally as beautiful as Kate's and the storyline very similar in that it juxtaposes between present day and the past, as the mystery unravels. One half of the novel sets us in the summer of 1959 as four sisters; Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot go to stay with their aunt and uncle at Applecote Manor when their mother takes a job in Morocco. But it's not going to be the glorious summers that they remember from childhood, Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry and even the house itself changed irrevocably when their daughter Audrey went missing when she was only 12 years old. Back in the present day, Jessie and Will are moving into Applecote Manor for a fresh start. Jessie is rejected by her stepdaughter Bella who craves the return of her own deceased mother. But after moving there they begin to realise there's something not quite right and the mystery begins to unfold. The novel is gripping but in a wonderfully slow paced way. The setting is beautiful and the reader is pulled into the world of Applecote Manor and it's inhabitants. The romanticism of the missing girl and her cousins journey of coming of age for the four girls tied together by the events that take place in the heatwave of '59. In the present day we see the turmoil of a turbulent relationship between Jessie and her stepdaughter Bella who can't get on no matter how hard Jessie tries. While Bella is haunted by the ghost of Audrey's disappearance when she unearths clues in the ruins of the garden, Jessie finds herself haunted by the ghost of Bella's dead mother Mandy. And Bella only seems to want to antagonise her further. This was a really enjoyable novel overall and I'll definitely be reading more from author Eve Chase in the future!
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  • Artemiz
    February 14, 2017
    Eva Chase's The Wildling Sisters, started like book that could be written by Barbara Erskine, with the story running parallel in past and in present and with the subtle hint about some paranormal activities maybe, but it really was more like Kate Morton books, with past and present and with secrets that can not be buried for forever.The story has very good structure, every reader has opportunity to test their detective skills and it's till full of surprises. And the relationships between sisters Eva Chase's The Wildling Sisters, started like book that could be written by Barbara Erskine, with the story running parallel in past and in present and with the subtle hint about some paranormal activities maybe, but it really was more like Kate Morton books, with past and present and with secrets that can not be buried for forever.The story has very good structure, every reader has opportunity to test their detective skills and it's till full of surprises. And the relationships between sisters and stepparents are written very enchantingly.It was really good read, there was nothing missing and nothing was excessive.
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