“You see, Ms. Valdez, we require a governess with very specific qualifications. And this goes beyond a mastery of math and science and linguistics.”
Ms. Danna Valdez is summoned to a gothic mansion filled with grotesque artwork to tutor a girl who has died.
But no one told her about the special circumstances of her pupil before she arrived.
“Isabella isn’t coping well with this new phase of her existence. A few months ago, she started breaking things. At first it was only a lamp or a vase every few weeks, but things are… escalating.” pg 29
Within the mansion lives Mr. Evers, an artist and the creator of many of the grotesques, and his wife, Mrs. Evers, a cook named Robin and a gardener/handyman named Raul.
The emotionally-charged atmosphere of the place gives Danna nightmares as soon as she arrives. And something seems to be a little off…
The premise of this story was very exciting, but I didn’t enjoy its execution or ending.
The grotesque artwork seemed to hold more meaning than I was able to glean from it.
“The parishioners would stop and reflect on each Atrocity. And what would they see? Not a hideous statue. They would look beyond the violence and suffering to the metaphysical core of the image. They would see a manifestation of God’s power.” pg 13
The artwork is creepy, disturbing and sets the scene. But it didn’t make the story.
“Each canvas houses an emaciated figure draped in tattered strips of gossamer. Wings made of human fingers spread out from their backs, and their ashen skin stretches tight over their bones like shrinkwrap.” pg 16
Recommended for readers who prefer complex imagery over plot development.
Thanks for reading!
Here’s some other horror stories I have reviewed: