Author: Laura Benedict
Date of publication: October 15, 2015
The fall of 1957 was a seemingly idyllic, even prosperous, time down in southern Virginia. A young housewife, Charlotte Bliss, lives with her husband, “Press” Bliss, and their two young children, Eva Grace and Michael, in the gorgeous Bliss family home. On the surface, theirs seems a calm, picturesque life, but soon tragedy befalls them: four deaths, with seemingly simple explanations.
But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved.
Charlotte, nearly crippled with grief, feels more and more isolated from everyone around her. The only thing that brings her solace is going through the old photos and curiosities left behind by her mother-in-law. Then she makes a startling discovery that points not to tragedy, but to murder. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is?
Not for the faint of heart, or those disturbed by sexual situations and violence, Charlotte’s Story injects new levels of horror into the classic Southern gothic.
I reviewed Bliss House last month and did end up enjoying it. Charlotte's Story is the second book in the series. The story actually takes place before the events of Bliss House. In this installment, Charlotte has married into the Bliss family. Soon after her mother in law Olivia dies, her young daughter Eva dies tragically. Lost in her grief, Charlotte begins to see Olivia and Eva in the house. Olivia begins to show her events that happened years before. Charlotte begins to suspect she and her son Michael aren't safe.
I can't say that I liked this one as much as the first book. It ended up just being an OK story for me. I felt like it was more confusing than the first one. It was as though Charlotte was being gas-lighted throughout the entire book. I'm still not sure as to the reason behind some of the events, like the seance. The reveals in the end weren't too shocking. I kind of guessed at a couple of them early on. I'm also not sure that the reverse timeline between the two books worked well for me. In a way, this story felt a bit recycled from the first one.
I'm wondering if the last book in the series goes back to tell Randolph Bliss's story. I'll probably check it out to see how everything began. I think that each one so far can be read as a stand alone as they don't really rely on the others. Check out what others on the tour are saying in the list below.
About Laura Benedict
Laura Benedict is the author of Charlotte’s Story and Bliss House, the first two novels in the Bliss House trilogy, as well as several other novels of dark suspense. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. She lives with her family in Southern Illinois.
Laura’s Tour Stops
Sunday, October 25th: Open Book Society
Tuesday, October 27th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, October 28th: It’s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, November 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller – guest post
Wednesday, November 18th: Buried Under Books
Monday, November 23rd: October Country
Tuesday, November 24th: Read-Love-Blog
Tuesday, November 24th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, November 24th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, December 1st: Booked on a Feeling