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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"Untold" is the story of Coral Berringer, who lives in a Newport, Rhode Island, mansion that has been allowed to moulder and decay by her terrifying and abusive mother. Coral's body is burned and scarred by her mother's discipline, especially the scalding hot baths where her skin is rubbed raw, and she dares not even cry for fear of more punishment. Margret, Coral's mother, is tall with long black hair that is always tied up tightly in a bun, and she seems a lot more like a wicked step-mother than a mother. When Coral dares once to ask Margret why she hates her so much, Margret screams at her, "because you were born," and proceeds to physically abuse her for her presumption in asking. Coral goes to school that day bruised and bleeding, knowing the other kids would think of her as the weird kid from the haunted house. Only Rose, Gretchen and Rollins, the remaining household servants, are there to give Coral the love and companionship she needs so desperately.
Tamara Helene Arrington's Gothic horror story had me entranced from the very first paragraph. Coral narrates the story, and her delivery is stark and compelling. My spirits soared with hers when she finds a friend and plays hooky one day, dancing on the beach she could only see from her window, and descended into the depths of despair when she was being brutalized by Margret. Ocean Point, the massive, ruined house where she lives, almost seems to come alive as a brooding and malignant force, overshadowing Coral's existence and seeming to want to swallow her alive. I'll be looking for more of 'The Berringer Family Novels'. If the rest of them are anywhere near as good as "Untold" is, I'll be very happy indeed. This is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it.