The Hawthorne School by Sylvie Perry

I started off the year with a typical book for me – a dark mystery! I couldn’t let the new year start without it!

Thank you Crooked Lane Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Claudia Morgan is overwhelmed. She’s a single parent trying the best that she can, but her four-year-old son, Henry, is a handful–for her and for his preschool. When Claudia hears about a school with an atypical teaching style near her Chicagoland home, she has to visit. The Hawthorne School is beautiful and has everything she dreams of for Henry: time to play outside, music, and art. The head of the school, Zelma, will even let Claudia volunteer to cover the cost of tuition. The school is good for Henry: his “behavioral problems” disappear, and he comes home subdued instead of rageful. But there’s something a bit off about the school, its cold halls, and its enigmatic headmistress. When Henry brings home stories of ceremonies in the woods and odd rules, Claudia’s instincts tell her that something isn’t quite right, and she begins to realize she’s caught in a web of manipulations and power.

As a parent and a teacher myself, I was really intrigued about the premise of this book. The setting gave a perfect eerie, gothic vibe that made me feel like I was right there with Claudia. On the other hand, this story was predictable and fell flat for me. Granted, I read a lot of gothic mystery novels, so story-lines start to become a bit repetitive for me. The ending twist was different than most, but was a tad dark if that’s not something you’re into. I can definitely find myself reading this again in the fall time this year!

4/5 Stars

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