The Wolf Mirror
by Caroline Healy
Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.
Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.
With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.
Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.
Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.
Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.
Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.
3.5 of 5 Stars
I was first attracted to this book because of the premise and I’m glad that I chose to review it. I never completely connected with either Cassie or Cassandra on a personal level but I appreciated them both deeply as characters. Cassie has been through a lot and is trying to figure all of her emotions surrounding her family situation out. I empathized with her struggles through feelings of abandonment, feeling misunderstood, and ignored. I got frustrated with her on multiple occasions but only because I could see a little farther than she could. In the story, it didn’t seem like we got to know Cassandra as well. This lack of detail made it harder to find ways to relate to her on a personal level but I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of her growth. Her exploration of the present day as opposed to what she experienced in her own time was hilarious. I loved her descriptions of various things like a television, computer, IPad, and a moving vehicle. The story also leaves ample room for a great cast of support characters whom I really enjoyed. This was especially true for both Molly and Charles who I came to appreciate more as the story progressed.
My favorite part of this book was how it briefly touched on a number of issues without any of them becoming a large focus of the story. There were times that Cassie’s shock at how women were treated in the 1700’s got a little repetitive. That said, it’s believable that a woman from the present would have a lot to get used to if suddenly dumped in such a restrictive time period. Gender equality and feminism were only two of the many topics touched on. Others included racism, class issues, divorce, bullying, and more.
Even though I never fully connected with the characters what I didn’t like about the story was the super clean ending. On one hand, I appreciated that it wasn’t something drawn out into yet another young adult series but it just felt a little too neat. Most if not all of the loose ends were wrapped up in a nice package. Some of the resolutions were heartwarming and made me smile but in retrospect, it felt a little forced.
Overall, I enjoyed this book as an easy and different read than other books I’ve chosen recently. It’s a story I think I would have enjoyed much more when I was younger so I recommend it to the teen crowd though I think adults can enjoy it as well.
Big thanks to the publisher, author, and EFC Promotions for hosting this book tour and providing me with a free galley of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.
In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice
Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.
She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.
(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)