Two Minute Review: Yesternight by Cat Winters

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Title: Yesternight
Author: Cat Winters
Genre: historical fiction, mystery, supernatural
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Published: expected October 4 2016
Source: ARC via edelweiss
Rating: 2/5

In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child.

Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination.  But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth.

Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.

Cat Winters has written several creepy, eerie, haunting novels that blend the historical with the fantastical -- like her adult novel The Uninvited or her first YA book In the Shadow of Blackbirds. Sadly, this latest novel is not one of her better efforts. Yesternight is a rather long book with a distant and restrained main character in Alice Lind and turns around a shallow plot; the combination of all three makes for slow, often dull read.

For an author with so much experience and such a proven imagination, Yesternight is a rare misstep. The pacing is deliberately slow but it takes far to long for the plot to really engage or for Alice to engender interest. It wasn't all bad; the atmosphere of the novel is evocative. And it's also just as unsettling and off as a story centered around madness and reincarnation would need to be. There was enough to keep me reading until the end but once all was revealed, it felt like that was rather a lot of work for very little reward.

1 comment:

  1. I've picked this one up and put it back down more times now than I can count. I finally went looking for some reviews to help nudge me along but then I found yours and now feel justified in DNFing. Just too slow paced and not enough interesting things going on.


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