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REVIEW: We Wait by Megan Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

It is officially spooky season, and as Halloween gets closer, it is the perfect time to crack out those gothic horrors. For me, this was Megan Taylor’s We Wait. Thank you so much to Eyrie Press for having me on the blog tour, and do check out the other reviews if you are interested in the book!

The Wealthy Crawleys can’t abide a scandal, so when fifteen-year-old Maddie’s behaviour causes concern, she’s packed off to the family’s country estate, along with her best friend, Ellie. But while Maddie is resentful, Ellie is secretly thrilled. A whole summer at Greywater House, which she’s heard so much about - and with Maddie, who she adores…

But from the moment the girls arrive, it’s clear there’s more to the house and the family than Ellie could ever have imagined. Maddie’s aunt, Natalie, and her bedridden grandmother are far from welcoming - and something has been waiting at Greywaters, something that flits among the shadows and whispers in the night.

As the July heat rises, and the girls’ relationship intensifies, the house’s ghosts can’t be contained, and it isn’t just Ellie who has reason to be afraid. Three generations of the Crawley family must face their secrets when past and present violently collide.

This short novel was exactly what I needed at this time of year. I’m not usually one for thrillers or suspense, but this book genuinely had me gripped. I love how fast-paced it is, with short chapters that end on cliff-hanging images:

“The night was rushing in on her, and she knew, for certain now, that it was all too late.” (Pg. 86)

Taylor's prose is beautiful, vivid, and chilling, full of layered meanings and metaphor. She sets each scene and uses light imagery to convey the feelings in each chapter. Despite the summer setting of the novel, much darkness can be found within its pages, and I liked the duality with setting a gothic novel in a warm season: you never quite know what to expect. This is only the start of how Megan Taylor adds a modern twist onto the gothic genre. The novel reminded me very much of Du Maurier's Rebecca - being haunted by the past in a huge country house.

I particularly enjoyed the merging of past and present within the novel, with two parts of the book being set in 2016 and the other being set in 1986. The mirroring storylines intensify the tension and drama, making you wonder if history will repeat itself. I also felt that the two timelines helped to fully flesh out the characters, too. For example, in the 1986 storyline, we hear from a younger Natalie and her mother, who is actually bedridden in the 2016 timeline. This touch adds so much dimension to the story and gives more complex layers to the characters and their relationships. The ghosts in this house are not only physical but figurative, with the characters being constantly haunted by their past.

The descriptions of the settings are rich and vivid, with mesmerising descriptions that completely immerse you in Taylor’s world:

"Ellie watched the butterflies dance and breathed deeply, drawing in the sweet scent of the grass and the darker, singled odour of the earth underneath. Heat bowled over her with the fizzing air, but she was relaxed into it now, her body loosening. A single bird, pale as a pebble, skimmed the blue overhead." (Pg. 43)

The setting of Greywaters, with its imposing building, surrounding woods, and nearby lake proves the perfect setting for this novel. Taylor provides ultimate escapism for the reader, transporting you to a secluded place separated from the rest of the world, allowing the thriller to truly, and uninterruptedly, unravel.

I would recommend We Wait to anyone looking for escapism during spooky season - this will definitely deliver.

You can buy We Wait from Eyrie Press' website here.

Thanks for reading and see you next time,

Kate x

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