Author: Hester Young
Series: Charlie Cates Trilogy, #1
Published: September 2015, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: ARC Paperback, 416 pages
From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .
When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.
After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could’ve imagined.A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won't be able to put down.
My thoughts: I was handed this book at BEA this spring and told by the publisher it was going to be a hot read this fall...she had loved it and was really excited to pass it along. Well, I hadn't heard of it, so it wasn't on my list of must-gets, but I'm so glad she gave it to me because I absolutely loved this book!!! And I'm so excited that's its the first of a trilogy - this isn't the last of Charlie Cates!
I think this is the first Gothic mystery I've ever read, and while it does have some paranormal aspects to it, I found it to be done well - not overly used at all. In fact, the paranormal aspects at times seemed to really amp up the suspense and thriller sense of the book, giving it that edge, and keeping you on your toes. The setting, too, the plantation home in Louisiana, really lends itself to this gothic atmosphere.
I really liked the character of Charlie. I found her to be a believable character and was rooting for her all the way. She's a strong person, yet not without her flaws and that's what makes her so believable and likeable. She meets some interesting characters on the new assignment, some likeable and some not so likeable, but all quite realistic. The Deveau family were quite the characters, especially Jules, their estate manager. And I loved Detective Minot - the bond they forged seemed really strong. I really hope that he remains a character in the trilogy and they continue to work together.
I enjoyed the mystery of this book. There were many twists and turns and a few red herrings thrown in. I kept thinking I had it figured out, only to be proven wrong. I did figure out one piece of the puzzle, though the ending was still a surprise. I love when that happens - I don't want to be able to figure everything out - I like it when the author keeps me guessing the whole way through!
But this book isn't just about the mystery...it's so much more. It's about a mother's grief and how she learns to live with that. It's about her adjusting to these new visions she gets in her dreams and figuring out how best to proceed. And it's about learning to trust again.
I devoured this book - once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. And when I did have to put it down - to eat and sleep - I found myself unable to stop thinking about it. Even now, I still have these characters on my mind. I'm so happy to know that it's the first book in a trilogy and can't wait to see where Hester Young takes it next. I will for sure be following this series and Hester Young's work...I'm a fan!!!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US only)
Thanks to the publisher, two readers can win a copy of The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form by September 9th.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends September 9th.