Monday, February 1, 2021

Review: Sargasso

Title: Sargasso
Author: Kathy George

Publisher: 3rd February 2021 by Harlequin Australia & MIRA

Pages: 387 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: mystery, contemporary, gothic

My Rating: 3.5 cups


An empty house, a lonely shore, an enigmatic, brooding man-child waiting for her return ... a trip to the dark lands of Australian Gothic, for readers of Kate Morton and Hannah Richell.

Last night I dreamt I went to Sargasso again ...

As a child, Hannah lived at Sargasso, the isolated beachside home designed by her father, a brilliant architect. A lonely, introverted child, she wanted no company but that of Flint, the enigmatic boy who no one else ever saw ... and who promised he would always look after her.

Hannah's idyllic childhood at Sargasso ended in tragedy, but now as an adult she is back to renovate the house, which she has inherited from her grandmother. Her boyfriend Tristan visits regularly but then, amid a series of uncanny incidents, Flint reappears ... and as his possessiveness grows, Hannah's hold on the world begins to lapse. What is real and what is imaginary, or from beyond the grave?

A mesmerising Australian novel that echoes the great Gothic stories of love and hate: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and especially Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.

My Thoughts

 ‘Not everything in life is meant to be shared. Some things shouldn’t be spoken about. They should be kept secret, close to your heart.’

How wonderful to add another author’s name to the Australian Gothic list. Kathy George has all the necessary ingredients in her new novel with an isolated location, a mysterious house and a visitor that you are never really sure of. 

When Hannah returns to Sargasso, this isolated home her father built when she was a child, strange things begin to happen. With the loss of both parents and her grandmother, she has to decide whether to reside or sell the infamous ‘Sargasso’. This is a house that is certainly full of memories but the added mystery that accompanies will have you wondering what is real and what is not right throughout.

This clifftop home is a character within itself and provides the perfect backdrop for this Gothic style novel. Eventful weather and the ever changing sea just add to the whole feel of the story. Told from alternating timelines - then and now - Hannah shares her childhood memories with the enigmatic Flint ‘then’ and also of his return in the present day with the ‘now’ storyline. Who is Flint? What is his secret and what is this hold he has over Hannah?

Kathy will have  you guessing every which way as you are unsure what is real and what isn’t. Some aspects you will begin to make educated guesses about, however, she will keep you wondering regarding the final resolution right up to the very end. If the mysterious Gothic is a genre you read, you are sure to find this a haunting and fulfilling tale. 

 ‘Why am I always here? What draws me to this quiet, tucked-away corner of Sargasso? It’s like a puzzle - only, I’m missing a piece.’  


This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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