Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

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“It was a scratch on the glass–in fact, more than one. It was writing.”

HELP ME. 

 

WOW. This book. I had never read anything by Ruth Ware, but I did pick up her The Woman in Cabin 10 book a while ago at one of my local bookstores. I will definitely be reading that soon now. This book is the perfect spooky read for October. I found myself wanting to stay up late to finish the book, but ended up waiting until the next morning because it was that spooky. Ware’s writing instantly transforms you into the English countryside. You can seen the expansive fields, smell the sea air, and hear the gravel crunching beneath your feet. There are moments when your hair stands on end, your heart beating a little too fast as you read through a chapter. 

This review will contain some spoilers.


 

 

 

The book follows Harriet “Hal” Westaway, a young woman who lives in Brighton and works as a tarot reader on the Brighton pier. Still grappling with her mother’s death three years previous,  Hal is a bit “down on her luck.” She owes money to a not so nice loan shark, and if she doesn’t come up with the money fast, there will be consequences. When checking the mail one afternoon, Hal notices a letter from a lawyer in Penzance. Confused, she opens the letter and discovers that the lawyer is a family estate lawyer sending his condolences due to the recent passing of her grandmother. He asks that she come to Penzance for the reading of the will as she is being bequeathed a small fortune. 

The only problem….Hal’s grandmother died over twenty years ago. But Hal realizes she has no other option, and she’s not going to get the money to pay off her debt any other way. So she packs a bag and heads up north to the mysterious manor, Trepassen. 

When Hal arrives, she meets her mother’s siblings for the first time, Ezra, Abel, and Harding. Harding is the oldest and definitely has an ego, Abel is the warm and kind one, immediately hugging Hal when she explains who she is, and Ezra, being the youngest is sarcastic and a bit of an asshole. 

“But the woman standing outside her doorway just now held no cane, and her approach had been utterly silent.” 

The house is run by Mrs. Warren, a cranky old lady, who has worked for the family for forever. She immediately takes a disliking to Hal, which makes Hal worried Mrs. Warren knows her deception. After initial greetings, Mr. Treswick, the lawyer to old Mrs. Westaway, shows up and proceeds with the reading of the will. Hal is impatient and would like to get the reading done as soon as possible so she can return to Brighton. So it comes as a shock to everyone when Mr. Treswick announces she is not in fact inheriting a few hundred pounds, but the whole Trepassen Estate. Wowza. 

Needless to say Harding Westaway is not too pleased. With him being the eldest son, he assumed he would inherited the Estate. Hal being awarded the Trepassen Estate is the main catalyst for the plot of the book. After she’s awarded the Estate, things begin to happen that make her believe Trepassen has a more sinister past than what the family claims. 

 I don’t want to give tooooo much else away, but just know the last half of the book is a wild ride. It’s full of dark, family secrets (which I LOVE), and there’s a huge twist at the end that just makes you go ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So, if you are looking for a spooky October read pick this beauty up! The book starts out as a slow burn, so don’t let it discourage you, it picks up. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I got to that point I was hooked and read it in about a day and a half. 

If you want to know more about the book, you can so here

 

Until next time!

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