A Maze, a human sacrifice, a curse, ready for a time bending fantasy?

The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall by Jessica Thorne is a modern spin on the ghost story. Not the horror kind, more the fantasy, let’s try to figure out what the hell happened and free that poor soul type. I was intrigued by the blurb promising “A spellbinding, magical and addictive tale about the mysterious and ancient legends at the heart of the English countryside, and how to find those who are lost.”

The book starts pretty well, I liked that the main character is a landscaper specialising in restoring historical gardens. That’s sure an unusual and fascinating job! Megan has her family trouble and love at first sight moment with Nora. But apart from that she didn’t seem to have much of a personality. I didn’t associate any voice to her and can’t think of anything she would like or not. Megan seemed to be missing something and sadly I can’t say I cared much for her. 

The plot was very well thought out, with twists and intrigues and everything was explained and justified. But everything was foreshadowed a bit too heavily, everything was over explained and nothing ever surprised me. And it’s a real shame because the ideas are good, and it could really have made for a fantastic story, truthfully I really wanted to like it, the premise was intriguing, everything fit well into place, Thorne really plotted her book fantastically, but her characters were disappointing. We have a good visual picture of them with physical trait description, but no internal turmoil really. We don’t feel for any of them and I was distant the whole time I was reading. It’s a real shame, the story could have been gripping and really pulled at the heartstrings but there was no real talk about the emotions of the characters, their inner dialogue and stuff just kept happening. 

We all have different styles of writing that call to us, and this one was not quite for me. The writing is clear and easy, but I never could quite plunge into the book. I never forgot it was words on paper, I usually like more emotive language, it calls me in. In this case I would say it is a bit of a missed opportunity. The plot was all there, different enough with enough wonder and mystery to grab people, but I think more work on character depth would have made the book shine.

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