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Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
Anatomy of a Darkened Heart by Christie Stratos is a gothic thriller surrounding the lives of the Whitestone children, but mainly the eldest sister, Abigail Delilah. Unwanted and abused by her mother, Abigail faces a life of solitude and fear while her two younger siblings are treated well. However, when unfortunate circumstances befall the family, Abigail takes command, determined to set right the wrongs she faced. Yet, with all the abuses of her past, will Abigail be able to fight back her own demons, or will the foundations put in place by her mother’s neglect and abuse finally overcome her sanity?
This novel ticked so many boxes for me—from the convoluted nature of the mother to the battles Abigail faces within herself. Anatomy of a Darkened Heart by Christie Stratos is a prime example of a gothic thriller. The writing style is exceptional, and I was hooked from the first page. I wanted more and more, yet the author gave me just enough to keep pulling me further in. The descriptions, both of the home and the characters, were appropriate to the time and also the plot, with allusions to the dangers of the Victorian home of the era. Each page unveiled a new horror as Abigail fought against her demons, eventually leading her to turn against those who had stolen so much from her as a child. The first book in the Dark Victoriana Collection, I am very excited to see where this series goes, and I plan to read the next book, Brotherhood of Secrets. I would wholly recommend this to fans of gothic novels as it takes the genre to another level.