This book is the very definition of the word Gothic. It belongs on the shelves next to Jane Eyre and Rebecca. As in Rebecca, the main character in the novel isn’t given a name. He is just referred to as The Bridegroom. The Bridegroom is a curator of myths, legends, and fairy tales. While tracking down a rare book, he encounters Indigo Maxwell-Castenada, an heiress to a massive fortune, and a woman obsessed with fairy tales. They get married rather quickly, and she makes him promise that he will never ask her about her past. She wants “A new chapter. A new story. There will be no glancing at the pages that came before this one.” Well, that’s not fishy as fuck, but he agrees. After a few years of marriage, Indigo’s only living relative, the aunt who raised her, is dying and they return to her childhood home, The House of Dreams. There we start to get chapters from an alternate perspective, Indigo’s childhood best friend, Azure.
Azure’s chapters tell the story of her and Indigo’s childhood. Azure’s mother moves in with a man who begins paying unwanted attention to Azure, so she begins spending more and more time at The House of Dreams. The House is sentient, and it loves Azure. Indigo is obsessed with fairy tales and making sure that when the time comes for she and Azure to be taken to The Otherworld, a realm of the fae, they are ready. Indigo believes this with her whole being, and the story continues through high school. Indigo is often cruel to Azure, her aunt, or anyone else who has the misfortune to cross her path and get caught up in her games. The Bridegroom gets more and more caught up in the past of his wife and Azure and discovers their horrible secret.
This book is cuckoo-bananas in all the best ways. The writing is dreamy and lyrical. The story is so gothic that it should come with a candelabra for creeping down dark hallways at night. I’m not sure that I enjoyed reading this book, but I respect the Hell out of it.
CBR Bingo – Dwelling. The House of Dreams in this book is so alive that it becomes a main character.