The Beholders by Hester Musson
Of course we had to pick a Gothic novel for January, there is absolutely nothing more cosy than snuggling down into a tale of mystery with beautiful heroines and absent husbands. Spooky old houses with surly servants and a plucky maid with a penchant for the truth. This makes January a good month. Over to Rebecca F to give a more detailed description of this brilliant book.
Welcome back to another series of Are You Sitting Comfortably. January has been quite the wild and stormy month so what better way to embrace the darkness with a little something gothic?
Hester Musson’s The Beholders is a dark, turbulent and compelling 19th century thriller which explores power and corruption. Rebecca and I loved its pace and all the twists and turns – The Beholders holds your attention to the very last page. Think brooding and unsettling.
The body of a boy is pulled from the depths of the River Thames – it is suspected to be the beloved missing child of the widely admired Liberal MP Ralph Gethin.
The story starts four months earlier when a young maid, Harriet Watkins arrives at Finton Hall. We learn that she is trying to escape an unwanted engagement in the small village where she grew up.
Very quickly, Harriet is held spellbound by not only the grand country house she finds herself working in but also by its glamorous mistress, Clara Gethin. Whilst captivating though, Clara is changeable, erratic and Harriet never knows quite where she is with her. She finds that Ralph Gethin, the master of the house, is strangely absent too. Amongst, the beautiful belongings in the house hide terrible stories.
As curious Harriet sets out to discover its secrets, she uncovers a shocking truth and a chain of events is set in motion that could cost Harriet everything, even her freedom…
Join us on Monday 29th January Live on Instagram to chat with Hester Musson about her extraordinary debut novel.