Monday, July 5, 2021

2021 - Blog Tour - The Temple House Vanishing; Rachel Donohue

TITLE/AUTHORThe Temple House Vanishing Rachel Donohue

PUBLISHER:  Algonquin Books

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Thriller

FORMAT:  eGalley LENGTH: 320 pp 

SOURCE:  NetGalley

SETTING(s):  Ireland

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  An atmospheric story about the disappearance of a sixteen year old student and her handsome young teacher some twenty-five years earlier.

BRIEF REVIEW:  In 1990 Louisa, a scholarship student,  enters an elite Roman Catholic boarding school perched high on a seaside cliff in Ireland. She comes from a troubled family and is uncomfortable and lonely in her in her new environment.  She doesn't dress like the wealthier girls and she doesn't like the strict rules either.   Things get better when she meet Victoria, another girl who dislikes conformity under the watchful eyes of all the nuns.  Then there is Mr. Lavelle (Edward), a handsome young teacher that is just the type of man that many teenaged girls will easily fall for.  He's encouraging and full of compliments and Louisa and Victoria quickly become rather obsessed by him and each girl feels that Mr. Lavelle is attracted to them as well.  As the end of school approaches and Louisa and Mr. Lavelle disappear on the same day, lots of unanswered questions remain.

Twenty-five years later, a journalist, who knew Louisa as a child, becomes intrigued by the unsolved disappearances. She is determined to dig deep and believes that Victoria, Louisa's old friend from school, may be the only one who can fill in some pieces of the puzzle, providing much needed insight into her time at Temple House.  

This is a debut novel that was quite suspenseful and had a Gothic vibe as well. I loved the former mansion turned into into a boarding school, the cold winter setting and the sense of foreboding as I read.  There are lots of themes running through this story: wealth, jealousy, lust, secrets, lies and revenge. Readers who enjoy stories that take place on a campus or in a cloistered environment might want to add this one to their list.  The epilogue, which sometimes can be a hit or miss for me worked well in this story IMO.

RATING:  4/5 stars

Release Date - July 6, 2021 - Algonquin Books

(Author Info) Rachel Donohue is a graduate of  University College Dublin, where she studied philosophy and politics. She lives in Dublin, where she has made a career in communications and media relations. In 2017 she won the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award for her short fiction. The Temple House Vanishing is her first novel.

NOTE: A download of this book was provided to me at no charge in exchange for my unbiased review.

20 comments:

  1. Boarding school kind of mysterious stories are usually alluring. And the Irish background looks good too. I'm game for it, thanks. I hadn't heard of this one yet.

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  2. Great review as I now want to know what happened to Louisa all those years ago!

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  3. Sounds really good! I like stories based in Ireland and also atmospheric ones where a location or weather play a large role in the plot. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm all about the setting. I like to be able to visualize everything.

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  4. I'm looking for some summer reads that don't require a lot of complicated thought but can just be read and enjoyed for what they are. It seems like this might be that kind of book.

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    1. This one would make a good fall/winter read as well - quite atmospheric.

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  5. We like mysteries and it sounds pretty good.

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  6. I love books that take place in boarding schools or have that vibe, so I will definitely be reading this one! :)

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    1. Yes me too, I wonder what it is about the boarding school that draws us in?

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  7. So much about this book appeals to me — Ireland, gothic vibes, cold weather setting & the mystery. Adding to my library list!

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  8. A Gothic-y boarding school mystery from the past involving a missing person basically is written for me! This sounds good!

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  9. I was excited to be part of the blog tour for this book too but just didn't get a chance to read it ahead of time. Now I'm thinking this would be perfect for the R.I.P. reading challenge what with the gothic vibes! I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. Yes, that time of year would be great for this story and setting.

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