Review: Essie Fox – The Somnambulist

The Somnambulist - Essie FoxHonestly, I only decided to read this book because of how it looked. I didn’t have long to spend at the library choosing my next book, so it was very much a case of judging a book by it’s cover. And what a cover this is, so pretty and enticing!

But oh how I’m glad I did. The book was a beautiful tale of love: hidden love, forbidden love, unrequited love and the love of a mother.

I’ve never really read a book of this genre before, historical/Victoriana, but it’s something I’d love to explore further.

The book was split into three parts. I thought the first part was quite slow to get going, but after reading the whole book, I can see now that this was to set up the story for what was to come. We meet a young girl called Phoebe, living with her tyrannically religious mother Maud, a member of the Hallelujah army, and whole-heartedly against the world of Phoebe’s aunt Cissy, an actress and singer on the London stage, the person that Phoebe feels closest to in the whole world. But when Cissy dies unexpectedly Phoebe’s world starts to unravel, and things that she thought were solid fact suddenly seem ‘blurred’.

Can Phoebe figure out what the truth is before it’s too late to take things back? And in a world where no-one is honest with her, can she be honest with herself?

This was a brilliant debut from Essie Fox, I could guess where some parts of the book were going, but I frequently found myself caught off guard with a plot twist that I could never have imagined.

While I checked this book out, I also checked out Fox’s second book, with an equally beautiful cover, so I can’t wait to get reading!

4/5