Any novel described as “in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights” is a must-read for me. So many elements of THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS grabbed me from the beginning. Set in Victorian England, this is a book within a book, that tells of two tragic love stories and the mystery surrounding a glass chapel hidden in the eerie woods.
Robert Highstead, a widowed post-mortem photographer, is called upon to photograph his deceased cousin, the poet Hugh de Bonne. The glass chapel holds the remains of Hugh’s long-dead wife Ada, and in order for their niece Isabelle to receive her inheritance, she must unlock the chapel and allow Hugh to be laid to rest beside Ada. However, when Robert arrives, Isabelle refuses to do so, unless Robert listens to the story of Aunt Ada’s life over the course of five nights.
I enjoyed the beginning of this book very much, but the middle part was a struggle to get through. The pacing was slow, and there was a lot there that wasn’t moving the story forward. I was still very curious about the mystery of why Isabelle refused to unlock the chapel, and what Ada’s life story would reveal. The writing was beautiful and atmospheric, and it was easy for me to slip into the time and place. In true gothic tradition, THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS is a haunting tale of ghosts, grief, and buried family secrets on the moors.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.