Today I’m pleased to be joining the blog tour for Mirrorland. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book.
The most dangerous stories are the ones we tell ourselves…
No. 36 Westeryk Road: an imposing flat-stone house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. A place of curving shadows and crumbling grandeur. But it’s what lies under the house that is extraordinary – Mirrorland. A vivid make-believe world that twin sisters Cat and El created as children. A place of escape, but from what?
Now in her thirties, Cat has turned her back on her past. But when she receives news that one sunny morning, El left harbour in her sailboat and never came back, she is forced to return to Westeryk Road; to re-enter a forgotten world of lies, betrayal and danger.
Because El had a plan. She’s left behind a treasure hunt that will unearth long-buried secrets. And to discover the truth, Cat must first confront the reality of her childhood – a childhood that wasn’t nearly as idyllic as she remembers…
Mirrorland is like no book I have ever read before. However, from the moment I stepped inside Mirrorland, I was completely engaged. Johnstone’s writing is highly descriptive and despite the unusual story, it was very easy to picture the setting and what happened in the different rooms. I felt quite claustrophobic in places, which added to the tense atmosphere that Johnstone created.
The plot of Mirrorland is very imaginative and it was interesting to learn more about the characters of Bluebeard, Mouse and the Witch. The story moves from reality to imagination quite quickly, and although this is necessary for the plot, it did mean that at times I was quite confused! However, I was always compelled to keep reading and see the complex storyline come together at the end.
Through Mirrorland, Johnstone explores some issues which are sensitive and may be difficult for some people to read about. However, I felt that as this was done differently to how I have ever seen it done in a novel before, it was handled well and I was able to feel sympathy for the characters.
It feels as though Johnstone knows her characters inside out and the main characters, in particular, are really well developed. Cat and El’s experiences mean that whilst, at first, I found it difficult to get to know them, I did end up rooting for them.
There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the novel which definitely kept me guessing.
Mirrorland is available from Amazon.
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