The Wind Chime: A Timeshift Victorian Mystery by Alexandra Walsh #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #MysteryThriller #WomensFiction #TheWindChime @NetGalley @SapereBooks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Fairy maiden, draw near to me,
Take me far below the sea,
Water maiden, wild and free,
With the fairies of the deep…

“Fairy maiden, full of glee,
I’ll tell my secrets for you to keep…
Water maiden, promise me,
You’ll keep them safe in the deep blue sea.”

It was the beautiful and enchanting book cover that drew me first to this book and then the blurb got me excited as it was my favorite genre of dual timeline historical fiction. The best thing about these stories is the ability to connect to the history of the era through the eyes of a protagonist in the current times. Obviously, the research and search for the unraveling of the mystery add a delicious thrill for fans like me.

Down the rabbit hole, I went with the lavish world created by Alexandra Walsh into the lives of Attwater and Stone families, so many of them that it takes time to untangle the relationship lines between the cousins, nephew, nieces, uncles, and aunts. But once that is established, get ready to be transported to this tale of secrets, madness, love, and scandals.

Amelia is glad that her mother left her with a task to do before her death and along with a close circle of friends discovers a photograph of a house in Pembrokeshire and a journal of someone named Osyth leaving her wondering and intrigued. The mystery deepens further when she realizes that her mother has left her with a set of cottages that had a secretive clause attached to it. Losing her daughter, and her parents in quick succession have left her traumatized so when she finds out that the Cliffside House is currently a therapeutic retreat, she takes it upon herself to visit for both rest and investigation.

Like in most books that deal with dual timelines, the historical era becomes more vivid thru the journals of Osyth and like her beliefs of magical fairyland Tylwyth Teg with its fae and fairy folks. But the past is not as magical as Osyth believes as she discovers secrets hidden by her family, shattering her innocent heart.

“A secret at home is like rocks under the tide and they had more secrets than the sea has tides.”

The author has captured the changing timelines brilliantly, showing the differences in subtle ways like how mental illnesses are perceived by the people in 1883 and 2019. Amelia’s grief is open and palpable but the experiences that shape Osyth and her story are kept subdued as like most things in that era, in fact, what Osyth and Angarhad suffer at the hands of her cousin is beyond cruel and brutal. Both timelines however emphasize the importance of family, friendship, and love. Osyth and Freddie in 1884 and Amelia and Edward in 2019 are both endearing couples but I did wish for a little more from Amelia and Edward’s story. Aunt Caitlin is another lovely character about whom I wanted to read more, well there’s something about every member in the family, and expanding it further with all those secrets being unearthed and the threads that bound the present with the past would have added another 100 pages.

This is my first book by the author and I enjoyed it immensely.


Many thanks to Net Galley, Sapere Books, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

A timeshift mystery that will grip you from the first page to the last! Perfect for fans of Sarah Burton, Stacey Halls, Jessie Burton and Kate Mosse.

Every family has their secrets…

Windsor, England, 2019

Amelia Prentice is recovering from the worst two years of her life. First her daughter and then her parents have died, leaving her without any surviving relatives. As she contemplates placing the family home, a vast Victorian house in Windsor, on the market, she fulfils her mother’s last request to clear out the attic, where she discovers a strange box of Victorian photographs.

The photographs are of a large estate in Pembrokeshire called Cliffside, and they feature the Attwater family. When Amelia uncovers the diaries of Osyth Attwater, she realises the family had tragedies of their own…

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1883

Every summer the Attwater family gather at Cliffside to tell each other stories. The youngest in the house is Osyth, a dreamer and writer who waits eagerly every year for the wind chime in the garden to signal the arrival of her relatives.

But her happiness is shattered when she overhears a conversation that tears her world apart. Raised by her grandparents, she believed her mother, Eudora, had died. It seems this may not be the case. Desperate to find out the truth, Osyth decides to unravel her family’s secrets. What she discovers will shock her to her core…

What did Amelia’s mother want her to find out about the Attwater family? Who is Eudora, and what really happened to her?

And how is Amelia connected to it all…?

THE WIND CHIME is an enthralling timeshift novel set between the Victorian era and the modern day: past and present entwine to create a thrilling page-turning historical mystery.

‘Silver chimes and coral shells haunting past and present in this beautifully written novel containing echoes of Welsh fairy lore along with Victorian asylums, and a travelling circus. It’s gripping with unforgettable characters. Carol McGrath, author of The She-Wolves Trilogy. 

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