The Summary (via Goodreads):
When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his remote English estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of childlike rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London. Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she has grown to care for—a conflict made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a mysterious student, and fears for her own sanity. As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as they know it. With twists and turns and breathtaking romance at every corner, this thrilling adventure will captivate readers.
I first read The Dark Unwinding long before I was blogging and found it to be a creepy and engaging book. When I purchased this book I knew nothing about it, I picked it up solely from the title, cover and summary. Often times, I am vastly disappointed when reading a book I buy for the cover (you know, don’t judge a book by the cover…but don’t we all?) but thankfully this time I was not. Upon rereading I found I enjoyed it thoroughly all over again.
The story follows Katharine as she is sent to Stranwyne Keep by her calculating and cold Aunt Alice to see what her uncle has been doing with the family inheritance. Katharine finds an uncle as eccentric (he builds realistic and complicated automatons) as he is endearing and the strange community he’s built around him. Nothing is as it seems at the estate and parts of what Katharine goes through had a distinct creepiness that wasn’t blatantly scary but gave me chills nevertheless.
The strongest aspect of The Dark Unwinding are the characters Cameron created. Katharine is at times selfish but in a very realistic way. While reading I tried to put myself in her position and see if I would be any less selfish. We really see a drastic change with her character as we traverse the story through her point of view. To me, it seemed that she was shaking away the façade she had learned to wear because of her aunt and emerges as she truly is.
My favorite character by far is Uncle Tully, I adore his childlike nature, innocence yet his ability to really see the point of things where others might not see it.
Uncle Tully frowned, “You got confused, little niece. Sometimes people get confused. They forget. They make mistakes. You forgot about stairs.”
Lane Moreau is Uncle Tully’s caregiver and apprentice; he is a quiet and thoughtful man. He has immense depth but only allows those that have earned his trust and affection to really know him. I yearned for Katharine to get in his good graces; I wanted to see what shaped him. The secondary characters didn’t really feel like secondary characters. Each was fleshed out and given motives for their actions.
A very engaging book that has an edge of mystery and creepiness that kept me captivated. I eagerly await A Spark Unseen the next in the series.