4 Star Reviews

#BookReview (4 Stars) – The Soprano, by S. E. England @SarahEngland16 #Witchcraft #Fiction

Blurb:

A Haunting New Supernatural Thriller by the author of Bestselling Occult Horror Trilogy, ‘Father of Lies.’

‘It is 1951 and a remote mining village on the North Staffordshire Moors is hit by one of the worst snowstorms in living memory. Cut off for over three weeks, the old and the sick will die; the strongest bunker down; and those with evil intent will bring to its conclusion a family vendetta spanning three generations.

Inspired by a true event, ‘The Soprano’ tells the story of Grace Holland – a strikingly beautiful, much admired local celebrity who brings glamour and inspiration to the grimy moorland community. But why is Grace still here? Why doesn’t she leave this staunchly Methodist, rain-sodden place and the isolated farmhouse she shares with her mother?
Riddled with tales of witchcraft and rife with superstition, the story is mostly narrated by the Whistler family who own the local funeral parlour, in particular six year old Louise, who recalls one of the most shocking crimes imaginable.’

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My Review:

The Soprano is a dark and atmospheric story of witchcraft, jealousy, hatred and revenge.

This is not a quick thrill fast paced novel, but a slower moving, foreboding and unnerving tale with depth and realism that left me feeling a little uncomfortable reading it at night while home alone. For the whole time I was reading this, I felt a cloud of darkness hovering over me, and I don’t think that was just because of the Cornish rain we’re having at the moment.

Although this story is set in the North Staffordshire Moors, I couldn’t help but picture this all happening here in Cornwall. The church on the cover made me think of St. Materiana’s Church in Tintagel, which we stumbled across in what seemed like the middle of nowhere on a rugged country walk a few years ago. The witchcraft focus made me think of Boscastle, probably due to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic there. The dark and atmospheric feel put me in mind of Bodmin Moor. On that note, I loved Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier, and I would certainly put this book in the same category for dark atmospheric feel, just with more witchiness (I suspect that’s not actually a proper word, but I like it).

Just when I thought I’d had more than my fair share of reading about creepy dolls in Frozen Charlotte last week, I was again faced with even more creepy dolls in this book. Eek!

This story triggered a memory from a few years ago. We’d recently moved to Cornwall and loved exploring and going on country and coastal walks. However, we got lost one time and stumbled across a tree in the woods with lots of colourful ribbons tied to it. As pretty as it looked, I felt myself on the verge of a Blair Witch inspired panic attack, and was relieved when we stumbled across a couple of strangers with a map, so we were able to find our way back to civilisation. Phew!

The Soprano is the first book I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I bought the Occult Horror Trilogy, Father of Lies, a few months ago, so I’m looking forward to reading that at some point too.

4 Stars

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Where to find this book:

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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