"Following a mysterious accident that left her sopping wet, Triss awakens to a world that's eerily off-kilter. Her memories are muddled, her sister despises her, pages have been stolen from her private journal, and her appetite is insatiable. Confusion quickly turns to dread as she begins to see and hear things she shouldn't. Her dolls reveal themselves to be deceitful, living creatures; she's suddenly and inexplicably afraid of scissors; and when she brushes her hair, out sprinkle crumbled fragments of leaves.
"Then she stumbles across evidence that hedr beloved brother, killed in the war, is actually alive—and she begins to suspect that the secrets lurking within her home are even more shocking than her twisted new reality. Is Triss going mad? Or did her accident trigger a nightmarish chain of events? In her quest to learn the truth, Triss ventures from the shelter of her parents' protective wings into the city's underbelly. There she encounters strange creatures whose grand schemes could forever alter the fates of her family."
~ Jacket copy
One of the joys of my current job is the bi-annual book fairs! On my short lunch breaks, I would take the time to just wander through the displays of books. Some of them really didn't look appealing. Others, however, really caught my attention. This was one such book. Sometimes YA horror can be awful and painful to read, so I was curious whether this one would be different. Honestly, the cover also really drew me in. Imagine my surprise when I saw it sitting on the shelf at the local library several months later! And thus began my journey with this book.
Hmm, that is truly a hard question to answer. The jacket copy does an amazing job giving tantalizing details without giving away the huge twist of the book. At a basic level, it is about a family torn by the death of their son during WWI and how they cope. However, it is so much more than that! It centers around Triss—the sick daughter of well-to-do parents—and her struggle with her identity, the strange occurrences after her accident, and her relation with her family (especially her younger sister, Pen).
This book was excellent! It has all the elements of a fairy tale while using the guise of post-WWI England as it's backdrop: the start of the post-war feminism, the birth of Jazz, and the very real effects of war and loss. In addition, it also has all of the workings of a Gothic novel: gloomy settings, supernatural creatures, curses, and heroes.