[Historical Romance/Mystery Review] The Unseen by Katherine Webb

Posted on 09/24/2012 in Book Review / 0 Comments

[Historical Romance/Mystery Review] The Unseen by Katherine WebbThe Unseen by Katherine Webb
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on 5/22/2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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A vicar with a passion for nature, the Reverend Albert Canning leads a happy existence with his naive wife, Hester, in their sleepy Berkshire village in the year 1911. But as the English summer dawns, the Cannings' lives are forever changed by two new arrivals: Cat, their new maid, a disaffected, free-spirited young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the law; and Robin Durrant, a leading expert in the occult, enticed by tales of elemental beings in the water meadows nearby.


Quickly finding a place for herself in the underbelly of local society, Cat secretly plots her escape. Meanwhile, Robin, a young man of considerable magnetic charm and beauty, soon becomes an object of fascination and desire. Sweltering in the oppressive summer heat, the peaceful rectory turns into a hotbed of dangerous ambition, forbidden love, and jealousy--a potent mixture of emotions that ultimately leads to murder.


I’m going to be honest, this book just didn’t do it for me. It was like watching a filler episode for my favorite TV show. I’m going to watch because I don’t want to miss a new episode, but at the same time, it’s hard to pay attention cause the episode has nothing to do with the major plot lines and frankly it’s a little boring. Seriously I kept looking at my to be read pile and sighing, cause I just wanted to be done with this book. My inner reader was scuffing her feet and saying “but I wanna read the one with the sexy cover not this stuff” and I just kept telling her to shut up and finish the damn thing already.

Now that you know my true feelings, on with the review!

All in all this really wasn’t a horrible book. (I know, I know, you’re looking at that last bit I wrote and thinking but didn’t she just say it was boring. Yes boring but not horrible, I never said it was bad! )

The first 50 pages were great. They sucked you in and made you want to keep reading. It’s the summer of 1911 and Hester is a newlywed married to a small town vicar. She’s taken in a new and troubled maid, Cat, since she feels it’s her Christian duty to help rehab her to a normal life. She also is struggling with her marriage in that there has been no consummating of the marriage even though it has been months since the wedding. Apparently the vicar likes his women virginal, actually the more you read on the more you realize that maybe he’s just not that into women.

The book then skips forward to 2011 and you meet Leah. She is a freelance journalist called upon to discover the mystery of an unknown soldier. Yep she is called to take a look at a dead body. (Nothing like a dead body to suck this reader in! ) The solder in question has on him two letters that have survived these past hundred years in the ground. It is these two letters that give you some more of Hester’s story and starts Leah on her path of discovery.

The then book starts in on the rest of the story. It flips back and forth between the past and present as the ladies tell their stories. It’s this whole middle section that I just keep struggling to read. My “Oh this is going to be good” feeling just keep moving towards meh the more I read. I could not seem to fall in love with the characters. They were all just okay and I just didn’t invest myself in this book like I typically do. It’s this right here that made it hard for me to keep reading.

You read about the love triangle of Hester, the vicar, and Robin (he’s a Theoso  Thesop  he’s the fairy expert.) You read about Cat and her schemes to get out. You read about Leah and her quest for the solider’s identity. Parts were just meh, parts were okay. The plot does keep moving and as it gets towards the end it does pick up quite a bit.

Now the last 50 pages, whew, those were some great pages. They were all… *gasp* Oh no he/she/it didn’t!  [turn the page..] WTF!!! [turn the page…] Buh, really that’s just… just…no way.

Even with as well written as the ending was, it was not enough for me to get overcome my feeling for the rest of the book.


Disclaimers: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.  *If you decide to purchase this book through any of these links, we do receive a small monetary kick-back that helps fund this blog.


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Amanda @ BookShelfery

Associate Reviewer/Minion
I'm a mother, a wife and a scientist. I read just about anything you put in front of me. I would say that my favourites are horror and romance. No wait, it's YA and dystopian novels. Umm, actually this week its mystery and paranormals. You know what, I really don't have a favourite genre, for me it varies by month, by week, or by day. Deep down I'm a nerdhuffer to my core. \r\n\r\nWhat? Nerdhuffer? What is that, you ask...\r\n\r\nDo you love the written word? Do you love those hard copies that sit in libraries full of the smell of glue, paper, and ink? Do you love those new copies that you stalk the book store for at midnight on its release to go home and read till 6AM even though you have to get up to go to work 7? Do you cherish an e-reader so that you can access a whole world of books whether you are at home, at the store, in the airport, or even... the bathroom? (What, you read in there too. Don't deny it, we're all friends here.) Did you just shake your head yes to any of those questions? Well then, my friends you are a nerdhuffer. Be proud, go forth in your addiction. I'll meet you at the bookstore to teach you the secret handshake. I'll be the one on the floor getting high off the pile of books at my feet.

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