By Diana Biller
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
on October 8, 2019
It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
This book popped up on my radar via some bloggers I follow who enjoyed it. I liked the premise, and was excited that I didn’t have to wait too long to snag this from my library.
This was definitely more of a historical romance than a ghost story, and it was a very sweet and funny book. I really liked Alva and Sam right away, and enjoyed their banter. I liked this book quite a bit: the dialogue, setting, and characters were delightful!
I do wish the ghostly mystery had featured more prominently, but this was a very enjoyable, sweet story. Recommended!