Title: The Beloveds
Author: Maureen Lindley
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Page Count: 336
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
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.
The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley is going into my oh my gosh what did I just read pile of books. When finished with this one I felt a bit like I needed to go wash my eyes or perhaps even my brain clean from reading this one and going so far into the mind of such a disturbed character.
Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Stash is the narrator of The Beloveds and readers will quickly learn that Betty isn’t exactly a likable and cuddly narrator, You see Betty began her jealousy in childhood believing that when her sister, Gloria, was born that Gloria was a “beloved”. Beloveds are those who get anything in life they want and luck follows them around like a shadow.
Without knowing it Gloria seemed to come into Betty’s life and steal the love of their mother becoming the golden child. Then as time went on Gloria’s stole Betty’s friend Alice away and then Gloria set her sights on Henry, the man that was supposed to be Betty’s love.
Betty had moved away and married but when the death of her mother came she returned to claim the family home that she thought was rightly hers but even after her passing Betty’s mother rewards the “beloved” sister Gloria with the deed to the family home. This is what sets into motion Betty’s plan for revenge and reclaiming what she believes is truly hers.
Picking up this book and beginning to read is like diving into a very dark and disturbing mind of a psychopath. The world from Betty’s eyes is one that is completely out to get her and she will go to extreme lengths to change that. It honestly took me a bit to settle in since Betty wasn’t very likable but eventually the pages started flying by waiting to see how far it would all go. At the end I’m not sure I was a huge fan of the last little twist there either as I was kind of expecting more leaving me to rate this one at 3.5 stars.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Maureen Lindley, born in Berkshire and raised in Scotland and England, was trained as a psychotherapist. She is the author of two previous novels, The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel and A Girl Like You. She lives in the Wye Valley on the border between southern England and Wales. Visit her at MaureenLindley.com.