All the creepy existential dread your gothic little heart could desire.
Opal is scratching out a meager existence in Eden, Kentucky- a small town plagued by more than its fair share of bad luck. With no remorse she will lie, cheat, and steal in service of a better life for her younger brother out of this miserable place. Opal is offered a surprisingly well paid job as housekeeper at Starling House. She knows she shouldn’t take the job, she knows there’s something wrong with the house, she knows she shouldn’t get to know the house’s brooding owner but Opal will do anything for her brother Jasper’s future (is what she tells herself).
This book had amazing atmospheric spooky vibes. For the first half of the book I felt like I was drowning with Opal in a river of bad luck and hard choices. There’s so obviously something terribly wrong and Opal is just concentrating as hard as she can on putting one foot in front of the other and everything is totally normal. I just wanted to scream for her. I also wanted to give her a hug, not that she would have taken one. It’s not all grim though, as Opal begins to look up from the tough work of survival we see that she has a better support system around her than she ever suspected. That gives her the strength to go out and face the root of the supernatural problems of the town instead of just running for it. Also the extreme awkwardness of the love story between Opal and Arthur Starling is adorable. Learn how to communicate you sweet prickly dorks.