Grace Alban has returned to her childhood home, Alban House, after a 20 year absence, to bury her mother, who died the same day she was to speak to a reporter about an event that occurred 50 years earlier - the suicide of writer David Coleville and disappearance of Grace’s aunt, Fate Alban. When the reporter turns up at her mother’s funeral, accompanied by a woman claiming to be Fate, Grace begins to unearth secrets held within the walls of the house for decades. Was Grace’s mother a victim of the so-called curse on her family? And are Grace and her daughter in danger of being the next victims?
I’ve read several novels recently that feature a present-day character trying to figure out a mystery that occurred decades earlier. Often in these novels the story flips between the present and the past, so the reader has insight into events that the characters do not. The Fate of Mercy Alban instead uses a manuscript written by David Coleville, telling a thinly veiled fictional account of the events leading up to the party, supported by details provided by servants who were on staff so long ago.
To tell much more would give away much of the plot, but suffice it to say this is a gripping and entertaining novel with mysterious characters and events. Grace loves her family and Alban House, but events from her own youth have driven her away. She forms a friendship with the local pastor, which could grow to be more if she’d let it. The resplendent old home built on Lake Superior adds to the ethereal feel of the novel.
If you enjoy gothic thrillers that keep you up at night, both because you can’t put them down and because you’re just a bit creeped out, then I recommend The Fate of Mercy Alban.
Notes on the audiobook: Narrator Kirsten Potter has the perfect voice for the eerie, gothic feel of the story. This is a great novel for audio as it increases the suspense when you can’t skip ahead. Thanks to Blackstone Audio and Audio Jukebox for the review copy of this wonderful novel.