Wednesday 28 February 2024

HELENA by Claire L. Smith

HelenaHelena by Claire L. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last night, while looking through the many books I have on my Kindle, I decided to get stuck into this one.

It's 1855 and Helena Morrigan is a mortician struggling to make ends meet. That's how she ends up living in an old house that's close to the graveyard. But it also means that she befriends the Tarter siblings and realises she's not the only one with secrets...

I loved the rich atmospheric gothic vibes that dripped from every page of this novella. The sense of Victorian times, as well as the location was very vivid and pulled me into the story. Once I started, I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. And it didn't disappoint.

This is a fast-paced story about a very strong young woman determined to live her life even though she's suffered a lot of loss. She excels at a job most find macabre and in her time, struggle to understand why a woman would go anywhere near dead bodies. But she's not the only cool character. I really liked Audrey and Valerie because they're also women who aren't afraid to be themselves.

The creepy side of this tale kept me guessing but there were enough breadcrumbs throughout to realise exactly what Helena's dark secret is. And I found the writing charming. It was snappy and lovely, but also threw a hint of confusion into the narrative that made everything that little bit darker.

Really enjoyed this one!

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