** spoiler alert ** Thank you NetGalley for the book and the chance to review it
Gemma has her dream job.. she is working in the museum in her home town, and although it can drag at times, especially when she has to sort through dinosaur fossils, there are things that occassionally jump out at her. When she comes across a box that seems to be full of garbage, she finds a hidden treasure at the bottom. The tag on the box has her curiosity peaked, and she asks for permission from her boss to investigate it further, in order to build a exhibit for the museum. With permission granted she dives into an investigation that is going to reverberate much more than she is willing to admit. When her boyfriend dumps her unexpectedly, breaking their engagement, Gemma is shocked and hurt. She has no idea where any of this is coming from, and her best friend has been acting very odd since they got engaged. But that is just the beginning..
Rebecca and Sarah have been raised together since a young age, and when her mother dies, Sarah stays in the house to be Rebecca's companion and friend. While they are not related by blood, they are closer than friends and call each other sisters. In fact, Sarah even begins to call Mr. Winston father. As the girls grow older small cracks in their relationship begin to appear, especially when Charles begins to court Rebecca. They have been reared with the expectation that they should marry when they were older, but only if both were willing to do so. Sarah seems angry with Rebecca for getting the attention of an attractive young man, and seems bent on doing anything that she can to thwart the relationship. Soon afterwards, strange accidents and deaths begin to plague Hill Hall. First, Rebecca's mother tumbles down the stairs and breaks her neck, and then her father begins to suffer from heart issues, and shortly thereafter he dies as well. With her engagement broken off and her fathers will hiding a huge secret, Rebecca is unsure of how her future is going to turn out, that is until Sarah forces a confrontation, one that only one of them is going to walk away from.
Gemma has become so entwined with the history of Hill Hall and the mystery that seems to be hiding within its walls, that she spends her week off going through the archives at Hill Hall. She has to know what is going on, and at the same time, she is pondering the very strange twist that her own life has taken. Her best friend has become deceitful, stealing from Gemma and doing whatever she can to sabotage her life. She knows that it she is going to have to confront Nat, but the thought of it makes her sick to her stomach. After talking to Ben and smoothing things over with him, she knows that she cannot put the confrontation off any longer, especially after discovering the latest twist her "friend" had planned for her...
Kathleen McGurl has created a masterpiece of interwoven history. By combining the stories, you are drawn in to the characters, finding yourself despising some and pitying others. While you have an idea of what is coming next, there are so many twists that you begin to wonder if you are missing something! The end of the book left nothing hanging, and draws it all in neatly. This is a great weekend read!