The Curse of Misty Wayfair, by Jaime Jo Wright, is a gripping split-timeline, romantic suspense novel about identity and family heritage. It follows two young women as they both grapple with the Legend, and ghost, of Misty Wayfair.
Thea Reed is an orphan who lives in the early 1900s. Her quest to find her mother brings her to Pleasant Valley, WI, but needing to continue to earn money, she plies her trade: taking memento mori pictures, pictures of the recently deceased. This connects her with the Coyle family, specifically Simeon Coyle, who works at the mental asylum. Fearing her mother was a patient at there, Thea uses her photography skills to gain access and crashes headlong into the controversial world of mental hospitals of the time.
A hundred years later, Heidi Lane travels to Pleasant Valley when she receives a strange letter from her mother, but someone doesn’t want her there. Her mother, who is suffering from dementia, has no recollection of sending the letter and Heidi’s sister has no patience for Heidi’s situation, especially when Heidi’s danger brings destruction to their home. Determined to discover who is terrorizing her, Heidi must visit the ruins of the old asylum.
The deeper both women dig, the more danger they encounter and the more convinced they are that answers lie in untangling the mystery behind Misty Wayfair.
Jaime Jo Wright is one of my favorite authors. While I don’t usually read split-timeline novels or ones that flirt quite as much with the darker side of suspense, Jaime so masterfully weaves such incredible stories that I cannot wait until she publishes a new one.
She also doesn’t shy away from challenging topics – such as the horror of the early days of mental asylums and some of today’s mental health challenges – however, she addresses these issues in such a personal way that it brings understanding for those who are unfamiliar with them and the feeling of relating to characters who have similar challenges as a reader.
I highly recommend The Curse of Misty Wayfair. For those with more vivid imaginations, I do suggest reading it during daylight hours; it is a ghost story after all. But leave yourself plenty of time to settle in. Once the story grips you, it won’t let up until you finish the last page.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”