My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is no bliss to be found in Bliss House.
In Old Gate, Virginia, stands a grand house built by Randolph Bliss, a charming New York carpetbagger who, in 1878, shook off dire warnings to build his home elsewhere. For the ground beneath Bliss House is tainted with the kind of tragedy that curses generations, seeping through the foundation and sowing madness in its wake. His first and second wives, and his young Japanese mistress, Kiku, bear witness to Randolph’s growing insanity with stories of his cruel manipulations and their desperate struggles to find happiness for themselves and their children.
Their desire to live and love and even take revenge also fills the house, triumphing even over death. Spanning half a century, The Abandoned Heart is the prequel to Charlotte’s Story and Bliss House, forming a trilogy of southern Gothic novels in which one haunted house begets haunted lives that echo over centuries. A haunting so powerful that even Bliss House’s destruction cannot kill it.
To say that I've been eagerly awaiting to read this book is an understatement. I have read and loved the previous two books in this series and I have been waiting for what it feels like a long time for this book to be released.
You don't have to have read the previous two books in this series since the stories in these books take place after this book. To be honest, now I feel like re-reading those two books since I have the back-story to everything that is wrong with the Bliss house. The Abandoned Heart retells the building of Bliss house and how even before the house was built it was a place cursed. And, now Randolph Bliss moves his family there and it doesn't take a long time until tragedy strike.
I liked this book however, I do feel that the previous books stories were a bit more interesting and thrilling to read. This one felt like more an explanation to everything with less thrilling parts. Still, it's an awfully good book. I came to like Kiku very much and was really moved by her tragic story. There was a moment towards the end of the book when I was really taken back when something I had not expected was revealed in a letter. This is the kind of book that I don't want to reveal too much of what's going on instead I want to say that it's like the previous two books well-written and engrossing to read.
The Bliss House series is a marvelous trilogy and I recommend it warmly if you like books about haunted houses.
I want to thank Pegasus Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!