Synopses & Reviews
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.
However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling—one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.
Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.
"Debut author Boccacino bowls the reader over with his note-perfect rendition of a spooky Victorian atmosphere. Widower Henry Darrow employs governess Charlotte Markham, a young widow, to tutor his sons, James and Paul. Following a sinister murder in the village and housekeeper Mrs. Norman's lurid forebodings, Paul dreams of his mother in parallel to Charlotte's own eerie dreams of the dead, including her dead mother. Paul's vision leads to a reunion and to an implied struggle between the two women for control of the children. Many of the characters also encounter other beings, some with malevolent designs that echo past terrors from Charlotte's life. The complex reverberations of mirror images, dramatic parallels among those who are 'bound by our grief,' and vicarly exhortations on the nature of the supernatural lead Charlotte to acknowledge her attraction to Darrow and realize her role as a bridge between two worlds a role that necessitates a terrible final choice. Boccacino's deft handling of this delicately supernatural period piece makes it a sterling genre selection. Agent: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Debut novelist Michael Boccacino invites readers into the world beyond the realm of the living in Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling, a Victorian gothic tale of the strange and supernatural. But all who enter this house must beware—for there is a price to pay for visitors who wish to save those they love. The story of a British governess and her young charges seduced by the otherworldly enticements of a mysterious mansion in the forest following the inexplicable death of the former nanny, this Tim Burton-like tale of dark fantasy is a bewitching treat for fans of horror and paranormal fiction, as well as readers who love creepy gothic tales and mysterious shadowy English manor houses. Not since Suzanna Clarke introduced Jonathan Strange to Mr. Norrell, and Neil Gaimans Coraline crawled through a secret door into a twisted and sinister mirror world, has there been a journey as wondrously fantastic and terrifying as Charlotte Markhams adventures in the House of Darkling.
About the Author
Michael Boccacino's poetry has been published in the St. Petersburg Times. He currently works and lives in New York City. This is his first novel.