Hold My Hand
Bridget Fletcher—make that Sweeney—is trying to free herself and her young daughter from a violent, stalker ex-husband and a life of poverty in present-day London. Given her need to disappear and her lack of current work experience, her best, and in fact, only chance of survival is to take a job as housekeeper at Rospetroc, a mansion outside a tiny Cornwall village. Rospetroc is now a holiday rental since Felicity Blakemore, the decidedly odd and more than slightly tipsy family matriarch died and the rest of the family decided to live in their other properties. Bridget takes on the cleaning, the hostessing and the faulty electrical system in good spirits, but soon realizes that something is not quite right. Figurines keep moving. Lights go on and off. Guestrooms are vandalized. Bridget feels like she’s being watched. And her 6-year-old daughter Yasmin has a new friend, Lily, who no one else sees; in fact, no one has seen Lily Rickett since she was a child evacuee during World War II.
Hold My Hand weaves together Lily’s tale from the 1940s with Bridget’s present-day life, and the reader gets tantalizing glimpses into the lives of the people who inhabited, or tried to inhabit, Rospetroc in the intervening decades. There’s not a great deal of historical description or action, however, as the greater part of the story takes place in the present day; Mackesy relies on the reader’s general knowledge of wartime England, food rationing, and the evacuation of children from the cities to the country. That said, this part chick-lit, part ghost story contains enough creepiness as well as enough proof of good in the world to keep readers of both those genres interested.
350 (US), 288 (UK)