Gray, Lucinda The Gilded Cage, 256 pgs. Henry Holt and Co., 2016. $17.99. Language: PG (5 swears 0 ‘F’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG
Katherine Randolph and her older brother George, farmers from Virginia, have just inherited Walthingham Hall in England. The splendor and wealth of her new position is overwhelming to 16-year-old Katherine, but she is determined to learn what it means to be a member of the nobility and all the privileges and responsibilities that come with her new title. All is going well until her brother dies suddenly. Katherine cannot and will not accept that it was an accident as everyone insists and sets out to discover the truth.
Apparently the author of this book sat down with a checklist of what a Gothic novel needs to contain and set about making sure all those items where included. Sudden inheritance, dastardly murder, beautiful heroine in peril, spooky characters who may not be who they seem, insane asylums, the man who seems lovely but turns out to be debauched, and more are all part of this insipid novel. The story veers between boring and ridiculous in equal turn. Adding insult to injury is the fact that there are numerous historical errors that can only be the result of lazy research. There are too many excellent Gothic romances for a reader to waste time on this book.
MS, HS—Not Recommended AEB