Feb 4, 2015

The Emerald Comb by Kathleen McGurl


Some secrets are best left buried...

Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clairs, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before... and when Kingsley House comes up for sale, Katie is determined that her family must buy it.
Surrounded by the mysteries of the past, Katie’s pastime becomes a darker obsession, as she searches through history to trace her heritage. But she soon discovers that these walls house terrible secrets. And when forgotten stories and hidden betrayals come to light, the past seems more alive than Katie could ever have imagined.


Anniek's review:

This book switches between the 19th and the 21st century. It takes a little time to get used to, but after that The Emerald Comb is a fast read. In the 19th century you read the story about Bartholomew St. Clair and his wife Georgia and when you step into the 21st century you read about Katie St. Clair (yes, family), her husband Simon and their children.

 I didn't want to switch between the stories, every time it was time for the next one I wanted to keep reading, because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next, and that same thing happened over and over again. Some of the twists and turns took me by surprise. Others I could predict, but there was a whole lot I didn't expect at all, which is exactly what kept me hooked.

Katie is very much into researching the past. She's passionate about finding out about her ancestors and their lives. Her husband Simon, who is adopted, has absolutely no interest in his own past. He doesn't want to find out anything about his own biological parents. This makes them clash sometimes, because Simon doesn't understand where Katie's passion is coming from. When they buy the house of Katie's ancestors and move in, they find the skeleton 'in the closet'. Because of this find I absolutely wanted to read more about Bartholomew and Georgia.

The Emerald Comb is a very well written story with a really good storyline. I could picture perfectly what everyone looked like, how their lives used to be and what the house looked like. I would love to live in a house like that (but without the secrets please). Also, the town which in this all takes place sounds like a very nice and welcoming place to live.

If you like books about history, love, genealogy and family stories you will absolutely love this book!

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