Tawney Thursday: Sanctuary Review

3 out of 5 Stars
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 29, 2015)

Goodreads Description:

A haunting and luminous Gothic YA novel about reckoning with the ghosts of one's dark past.

After the untimely death of her aunt Laura, Cecilia Cross is forced to return to Sanctuary, a rambling, old French-Gothic mansion that crowns a remote island off the coast of Maine. Cecilia is both drawn to and repulsed by Sanctuary. The scent of the ocean intoxicates her, but she's also haunted by the ghosts of her past--of her father who died at Sanctuary five years ago, and of her mother who was committed soon after. The memories leave Cecilia feeling shaken, desperate to run away and forget her terrible family history.

But then a mysterious guest arrives at Sanctuary: Eli Bauer, a professor sent to examine Sanctuary's library. Cecilia is intrigued by this strange young man who seems so interested in her -- even more interested in her than in the books he is meant to be studying. Who is he and what does he want? Can Cecilia possibly trust her growing feelings for him? And can he help her make peace with her haunted, tragic past?


Tawney's Review:

This was a gothic fun book full of family drama. Whether it’s love or betrayal the book weaves into the history of a family, which does include historical facts and tales. Who doesn't like family drama?

Cecilia returns to her home Sanctuary, a home haunted with a brutal past. The death of her family members and the madness of her mother haunt every crevice. She has to confront the fears from her past to the move on to the future.

It was a great gothic story with imaginative settings and some historical facts. The story flowed and Cecilia was a strong character. I was rather disappointed with the ending and thought it could have been better. But it was a fun read so for those looking for something gothic and different, this is right up your alley. 


  1. Intriguing...the setting sounds like the strongest element (based on the description) so I'm glad to hear that the "imaginative settings" were a winner with this one. A lot of potential for isolated drama between characters way out there, I think.


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