The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel (Paperback)
Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.
For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond. Enshrouded by fog and enveloped by howling winds, the imposing edifice casts a darkness over the town.
In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after twin children Constance and Edmund for their widower father, Captain Jonathan de Grey. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.
In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.
There is only one true mistress of Winterbourne. She will not tolerate any woman who dares to cross its threshold and call it home. Those who do will only find a reflection of their own wicked sins and an inherited vengeance.
About the Author
Rebecca James worked in publishing for several years before leaving to write full-time, and is now the author of several novels written under a pseudonym, as well as The Woman in the Mirror under her own name. Her favorite things are autumn walks, Argentinean red wine and curling up in the winter with a good old-fashioned ghost story. She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.
"A gorgeous mansion thick with ghosts, enchanting children, a dangerously mysterious master of the house—THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR has it all. Not since THE TURN OF THE SCREW has a governess encountered so much glorious Gothic malevolence. A deliciously atmospheric read that causes the hair on the back of the neck to stand up as something rustles in the shadows in the corner…read it with all the lights on." —New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn
"Haunting, unnerving, infused with atmosphere, dread and secrets...the perfect Gothic thriller." —New York Times bestselling author Amanda Quick
“As dark and twisted as the creeping vines of malevolent wallpaper presiding over the governess's haunted bedroom, The Woman in the Mirror draws from classic horror sources to devise a sinister tale entirely of Rebecca James's devising. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Susan Hill are echoed here, but the intertwined modern and historical plots make for a uniquely riveting tale.” —Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham
"Like a modern day Turn of the Screw, this book draws you in and slowly chills you. It's beautiful and spooky. I loved it!" —Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing
“...a dark treat of a book, steeped in Gothic detail and heavy with unease.” —Kate Riordan, author of The Stranger
"...elegantly written and deliciously creepy.” —Emylia Hall, author of The Thousand Lights Hotel
“Deliciously sinister...” —Nicola Cornick, author of The Phantom Tree
“Brilliant, addictive and superbly gripping.” —Kate Furnivall
"The Woman in the Mirror is a creepily enthralling tale." —Shelf Awareness
"James (Sweet Damage, Beautiful Malice) pens a delectably creepy tale. If Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre had a baby, it would be this well-crafted Victorian Gothic mystery." —Library Journal (starred review)
"Atmospheric and gloomy … This thrilling gothic endeavor keeps the pages turning with tense scenes and lush depictions.” —Booklist
“Haunting … Readers will be eager to see what James does next.” —Publishers Weekly
“An innovative take on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw.” —The Palm Beach Post