An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.
Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.
⭐️⭐️ / 5
Oof, I do not have many good things to say about The Beloveds so I am sorry in advance. If you are looking to see a good review of this book, you are not going to see it from me. I just want to throw out that I know writing a book is very hard work, and I could never write one myself, so this isn’t a reflection on the author. This book was just not a good fit for me.
First of all, I did completely adore this cover though. It is beautiful and is what drew me to the book before I even knew what it was about.
For being contemporary, this book just had an old feel to it. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it would have been set in the 50s or 60s. I don’t know if it was the writing or what it was, but it just felt like it was set in a different time period for some reason. I didn’t mind that of course, but I’m interested to see if anyone else will have that same vibe from this book.
I will say that this book was incredibly detailed without seeming too detailed, if that makes sense. I didn’t feel overpowered by detail, but rather it made me feel completely immersed in the story.
The premise of this book seemed great. A jealous older sister determined to get back the house that she felt entitled to? Sign me up! Unfortunately, I just didn’t really think much of anything happened during The Beloveds. It started out good enough, but I soon lost interest and found myself really bored. This book was not hard for me to put down even in the last 30% of the ARC when shit was getting crazy, I just still wasn’t engaged. Full disclosure, I pretty much skimmed the last 50% of this book because I just was NOT into it.
I’ve read and loved plenty of other psychological thrillers (The Last Mrs. Parrish, The Couple Next Door, The Girl on the Train, and The Good Daughter to name a few), but this one somehow fell flat for me. Parts of it were creepy, especially Betty’s “relationship” with Pipits, but I got really sick of the “I’m enraged at my sister because she got the house, but I am the one entitled to it” theme. Also, I thought this book was supposed to be about Betty getting Pipits (aka “House”) back, then she literally does practically nothing except whine and act jealous for half the book.
I think it would have helped if there would have been other perspectives in this book, instead of everything through Betty’s eyes. I felt like she did a lot of bitching and moaning in this book. That is the best way for me to describe how I felt about Betty and the way she acted the entire book. She was just so nasty and bad-tempered. I suppose that was the point, but I couldn’t handle it for the entire book.
The drama with Betty’s drinking and the stuff with her apartment neighbors at the end kind of lost me as well. More of Betty showing her true colors and that she wasn’t right in the head, but I didn’t care for it and was just ready for the book to be over.
Final Thought: While I wouldn’t recommend this, I just don’t think I was the intended audience. This is more of a slow burn, character driven, jealous/rather crazy sister, takes a long time to see action type of book. I guess the best thing to say is if you are ok with what I have said above you should still check it out. The majority of people have been liking this one, and I am the oddball out at the moment.
*This book is set to be published on 03 Apr 2018*
*HUGE thanks to Gallery Books for providing me with an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley. My review is completely honest and unbiased*