Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
About the book: It’s a standalone novel following Hal Westaway who receives a letter about an inheritance, even though she isn’t the granddaughter of Mrs. Westaway. Hal finds herself attending the funeral of the deceased where she realizes there are many secrets surrounding the family.
First impressions: I’ve read Ware’s other novels, and I was curious about this one. I thought the story would just focus on the present, but the diary entries from the past added an interesting angle to the story.
Characters: There are some morally gray characters. I felt like the relationship dynamics between family members were unexpected in an interesting way. The book doesn’t have too many characters, so it was easy enough to remember everyone.
“She had discovered that the most important truths often lay in what people didn’t say…”
Writing: I like when writers interweave the past and the present, and Ware does this well. Although the chapters aren’t too long, in my opinion, the plot takes a bit of time to develop. There are discussion questions and an interview with the author at the end of the book I read, which I enjoyed.
Final thoughts: The ending resolves the big mysteries while leaving some small questions unanswered. If you are a fan of contemporary thrillers with a dark, Gothic undertone, consider picking up The Death of Mrs. Westaway.