Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the Internet only three months before and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother. But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons
Snarky. Artistic. A little crazy. All these words describe Isobel, narrator of Eileen Cook's Unraveling Isobel. This is the first of Eileen Cook's novels that I've read, something I intend to remedy this year. I devoured this novel on the flight from Las Vegas to New Jersey. Part suspense, part Gothic horror, part romance, there is something in here for everyone.
The narration drew me in from page one. Isobel's voice is so authentic and I love her snarky sense of humor. She is snarky and bookish and artsy and may have inherited her father's schizophrenia. Her life is thrown into turmoil when her mother remarries, moving her to a vast manor with her new stepfather and handsome, albeit standoffish, stepbrother. While acclimating to her new environment, Isobel starts seeing ghosts and realizes that there maybe reasons to dislike her stepfather beyond his pretentiousness and phoniness. She begins investigating and quickly uncovers a local mystery that has layers upon layers. This was a page-turner, I loved being lost in the story and uncovering bits and pieces at a time. I also loved the little bit of ambiguity left at the ending, just enough to keep the mysterious feel without forgetting to tie up all the loose ends. Unraveling Isobel is a great escape, I look forward to reading more of Eileen Cook's novels.