Do you believe in Ghosts? I have to admit, I am fascinated by the idea of the paranormal as whole, though I am not much of a believer. Lol I’ve always been open to the idea of the unknown and what might be or not.

I saw this title and was immediately intrigued and wanted to see what was in it and if I will be fascinated.

My intentions was to read a chapter or two to see if I had any interest and didn’t put it down until I had finished the entire book. That was how captivating this whole book was.

It’s the year 1875 and the notorious Mrs. Webster has returned to New York to reclaim her old life and nothing is going to stop her from reclaiming her life — not even a ghost. She had to deal with the idea of the possibility of ghosts in this spooky read published just in time for the SPOOKY SEASON.

ABOUT THE BOOK.

It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

The Very Beginning

Alda Rensslaer was seduced at 16 by Alain Webster. As a sheltered and unloved girl, she was the perfect naive target for Alain who was 14 years older. He ruined her and arranged their marriage so that he could have her money. After ten years of physical and emotional abuse, Alda got up the courage and enough money to leave him. He wouldn’t have cared but then murmurs started about Alda’s constant bruises, so Alain distracted everyone by starting rumors about orgies and affairs which gossip came out in the newspapers and he once again left Alda ruined by society’s standards. After her husband’s death, Alda returned to New York and purchased an abandoned property known as Leifdehuis or Love House.

Her plan is to return the House to its former grandeur, all the while she will be documenting and photographing the work and she will then publish a book to sell to the up and coming middle classes on decorating. She is even willing to tout that the book is written by the notorious Mrs. Webster if it will help her sales.

Alda only obstacle to her plan now was that The workmen and most of the town believe that her house is haunted and they stopped working and refuse to return to work. The only way to get them back to work is to convince them, by a reliable source, that there is no ghost.

Professor Samuel Morse of the Morse Family — the first family of American science. — has been trying to get Alda to let him study her haunted house. She agrees to let me and his equipment in in hopes that he will fail to find a ghost and then can convince her workman to return, and if he does find a ghost, he can convince it to, you know, move on and out so she can get back to work. And thus began the story.

MY REVIEW

I loved everything about this book. It was totally in my wheelhouse: Gilded Age, atmospheric haunted house with ghosts, romance, witty banter, a scientist hero, and a dastardly villainy brother-in-law. It was a balanced amount of endearing love story and a creepy ghost story, equal parts steamy and heartwarming and scary

I had initially sat down to read a few chapters to see if I was interested and I was caught up in the story of Alda, and whether or not her house was haunted. As a young sheltered unloved girl whose parents really didn’t give a damn about, she fell under the spell of Alain, and his hot/cold romance antics left her desperate to please him. He abused her physically and mentally and the rumors that he spread about her still ruin her life long after his death. She also has her brother-in-law coming around and blackmailing her and mentally abusing her further. The ghost investigation takes up a portion of the story, but at least half is focused on the romance between Sam and Alda.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, This Gothic Historical Fiction “The Widow of Rose House” is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.

Thank you Netgalley and st martins press for allowing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

PS: I’m hosting a giveaway of a copy on my Instagram page so if you’d live a free copy, check my ig page out and enter. Good luck to you guys