Review: The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick
Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.
Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…
250 Years Later…
When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can't tell what is real and what is imaginary.
As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and its past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.
From what I see, this is the third book in the Timeslip series by Nicola Cornick. I haven’t read anything before by her so this was an interesting introduction to her work. The story told by dual time periods, the past and the present, feature an intricate plot that wove a tale that featured historical elements, suspense, supernatural elements and those qualities pulled from the seven deadly sins that make this books interesting.
The book was told from three different perspectives: Isabella (Lady Gerard), her maid Constance and Fenella (present). These three woman had such strong personalities which gave a really interesting point of view to the book. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with the characters. More so due to their actions especially Lord Gerard. He was not a good person. The ladies had their moments where they rubbed me the wrong way but as the plot unfolded had their redemption.
Overall, the plot was really interesting. I really enjoyed how the past was blended into the present but there were moments that I felt a disconnect. Maybe that is because with so much emphasis on the dress, there were moments that I wish could’ve been explored more and then moments like what happened like when we stumbled on the woman in the lake (we read what happened but to see it unfold would’ve been a page turner) and the revelations in Fen’s life with the fire (that was definitely a plot twist but I don’t know) I was like those back stories would’ve been more interesting. Other than that, the overall plot I found really interesting and will definitely check out the other books in the series.