Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Darkwater' by V.J. Banis

Published:  2012
Setting:  Historical

Left penniless and alone in the aftermath of the Civil War, Jennifer Hale answers an ad out of desperation and receives a nursemaid job at the Darkwater plantation.  Nestled in the heart of the bayou, Jennifer is happy with her beautiful surroundings, but she can't help the feeling that impending doom is boiling just below the surface.

Jennifer is able to press troublesome thoughts from her mind as she settles into her job as teacher to the three Darkwater children and companion to the ailing wife of the house, Alicia.  But as Alicia's illness progresses, an illness doctor's say say is only in her mind, Jennifer can't help but notice the chemistry that is growing between herself and Walter, the man of the house.  Yet Alicia insists that Liza, the oldest of the children and an orphan Walter rescued from the swaps, is a witch who has cast a spell upon her house.  A spell that is sure to take Walter away from her and kill her in the same breath.

But when Alicia dies of mysterious circumstances and Walter later asks Jennifer for her hand in marriage, she seems to fall ill of the same malady.  Then she realizes how terribly Liza hates her, and the old cook Bess begins to speak of voodoo curses.  Jennifer visits a witch that lives in a shack in the bayou in hopes of having some questions answered but only returns with her own potion, and a fear more real than she's ever experienced.

When, at last, the household realizes that evil is real and resides right beneath their roof, they're not sure who will survive.  Jennifer clings to life as she struggles against an ancient hatred that wishes only to be rid of her.

Very enjoyable book that read quickly.  I loved the setting of the bayou, and the witch who lived there, this totally set a great gothic mood for the book.  With potions, witches, voodoo, and an isolated mansion in the bayou, you really can't go wrong!  Highly recommend!

Rating:  5 Stars

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