The Key In The Lock – Beth Underdown

Published By: Penguin
Pages: 304
Released On: 27/01/2022

By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still. For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

*****

Thanks to Penguin for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Is there any book lover who hasn’t heard of “The Key in the Lock”? It’s been everywhere and I was so excited to be given the chance to read an early copy of it.

This book wasn’t like anything I expected. For some reason, in my limited research of it beforehand, and what with the mysterious title, I assumed it was some kind of fantasy book, set in this wonderful make-believe place with fantasy creatures – definitely not the case.

I was a little confused at first with the flitting between 1888 and 1918 and figuring out how they linked, it that quickly became easy to understand and I was fully immersed in this multi-layered and heartbreaking story.

There’s no faffing about in this book – it opens with a whopper of a plot point and the narrative never lets up or disappoints.

The depictions of grief – in both 1888 and 1918 – is sensitively done. Grief can make devils of us and Beth shows the different stages of grief with each character. Whilst both time periods are interwoven written, I definitely found more of a personal interest in the goings-on of 1888.

It is a real eye opener as to what we would do for love, for hate, for friendship; what we are willing to sacrifice for what, and who, we think is right and that we think is wrong. Not everyone in this book is who they say they are, and you’re never given 100% of a person’s character. It is up to you to decide who you want to believe.

I don’t know the exact words to explain how beautifully this book is written; the pace, the choice of words, sentence structure, description – it’s all just magical, every word as perfect as the next. In the end, I think this may be a text studied by many future audiences.

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