Published by Harlequin Teen on September 27th 2016
Source: ARC from friend
Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.
When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.
The Women in the Walls, much like Daughters Unto Devils, starts by putting characters with a complex family history into a creepy location. Lucy lives in an old Victorian mansion with her father, Aunt, and cousin, Margaret. Her father basically ignores her, and her aunt has raised her since the death of her mother, far enough in the past that Lucy doesn’t really remember her.
The creep factor begins immediately with an intense feeling of isolation and pain. Lucy and Margaret do home studies in a huge house full of empty rooms. They don’t have friends. It’s set in modern day, but they have no need for cell phones. They don’t drive. On top of all of this, the family, the Acostas, believes strongly in never showing weakness, so Lucy has spent years of her life cutting in an effort to deal with the emotions she is not allowed to display at home.
On top of this, things get wild. On the first page, we learn that Lucy finds the dead body of her beloved cook when he commits suicide. Not much later, her aunt walks into the woods and disappears. Then, Margaret starts hearing voices and shows Lucy a cemetery, hidden in the woods on the estate. Lukavics does a good job of never letting me think the characters are safe. Happy endings aren’t guaranteed with this author, but this is the second time she has delivered an ending I found both satisfying and unexpected.
Tl, dr: Another creepy novel from Lukavics!