Wednesday 2 July 2014

The Legacy - Katherine Webb


After the death of their grandmother, sisters Erica and Beth Calcott return to their childhood summer house - Storton Manor. Once a place full of happy memories, they are now haunted by their cousin Henry vanishing mysteriously one holiday. Erica cannot stop thinking back to that summer as she goes through her grandmother's belonging, but comes up with no answers.

There are too many family secrets, from generations before them, in which they must face in order to move past the events of the present. This is their legacy.


As much as the plot sounds overly dramatic, that is basically what The Legacy is about. It's a lengthy novel with twists and turns, and stories between stories before we get to the finale. I found though, that for all the complexity, Katherine Webb did a good job in unravelling all the mysterious ties to create an intriguing read.

I'm pretty much a sucker for family mysteries, which is probably why I decided to read this. I don't think I was disappointed with the whole web of secrets, but more the experience of reading it. Whilst Webb's writing was descriptive and engaging, I found myself zoning out in some moments. I think the problem was the pacing and tone of the writing. I could imagine the scenery and places mentioned while reading, but because Erica's voice is so sentimental and whimsical, it really set a slow and dull tone. At some points I had to work really hard to plod through what was happening. However, Webb also includes Erica and Beth's great grandmother's story, placed between present chapters. Caroline's voice is a lot different, and I was more fascinated with her story as opposed to what was actually occurring in the present. In fact, I actually looked forward to her chapters more and there was no problem in reading that perspective. It was great to see that Webb created two distinctive voices as well, so it was clear who's view I was reading from.

I'm not sure I loved all the characters, just because I felt like they were flat. Beth had scars and the story tried to unravel her fears, but even the revelation couldn't really rescue her character. Erica was more like a curious teenager than her actual age, of which I could not pinpoint. I think I preferred Caroline and the characters in her past because they were a lot more interesting to read about.

The plot wove such an intricate storyline though, that I kept wondering how Webb would unravel all the mysteries. She did eventually, and in a way that caught me by surprise. This definitely made up for most of my reading experience, as the writing caught up with the intensity and helped me power through till the end. It did take awhile to get there, but I think it was worth it. It made me feel as though the read was actually worth it, I really did not expect for the mystery to be resolved as so.

There were still some questions that I had and moments that didn't really make sense or wasn't really addressed, but I just overlooked it at the end. It was deep and sad at some moments, and a lesson that can be learnt but overall it just lacked a little impact. I do recommend though, if you like a good mystery, especially one that has complexities but fit together to perfect the puzzle.

Rating: 3.5/5

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