#BookLoves Curses, Ghosts, and Family Drama

The Curse of Misty Wayfair

by Jaime Jo Wright

Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Historical Fiction

Star Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

When it comes to Jaime Jo Wright’s books, I usually find myself asking: What’s not to love? And The Curse of Misty Wayfair is no exception.

I didn’t intentionally choose to use my shark bookmark during #sharkweek, nor did I intend to dive into such a gripping mystery on a dark and stormy night. But it was perfect. 

My first experience with Jaime Jo Wright’s stories was a happy accident, if you will. I’d run out of books and grabbed my mom for a trip to our local thrift bookstore, McKay’s. It wasn’t a dark and stormy day, but I was in the mood for a mystery. As my fingers tapped the spine of a book titled The House on Foster Hill, they almost acted of their own accord, like magnets, grasping and dropping the book into my shopping cart. (Because yes, at a thrift bookstore I need a whole cart.) I’m always nervous to try out authors I’ve never heard of, and usually in the first few pages, I can tell if I’m going to love it or hate it. 

With the first line, I was all in. 

“Death had a way of creeping up on a soul, and Ivy Thorpe was determined that when it visited her, she would not be surprised.” 

After I finished that book, I picked up The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. Once again, I was struck by the well-crafted words of Wright’s storytelling and the endearing quirks of her characters. So, when I hit the end of my #TBR list again, I decided to pick up a few more of her books. 

That leads us to today, or, well, the wee hours of the morning when I finished The Curse of Misty Wayfair. Which might just be my favorite of her books yet. I felt the heroines’ pains and joys deeply on their quests of belonging and overcoming crippling anxiety. And of course, I enjoyed sleuthing right along with them to uncover the mysteries of Pleasant Valley. 

Wright is a masterful story weaver, revealing history and mystery through her character’s daily lives and investigations. And while her books are raw and gripping, she’s well-versed in the art of subtlety. The romance, while understated, still gave me those warm feelings reminiscent of a cozy night with your love. It was simple, and yet, that made it exquisite. It’s my very favorite kind of romance. When it comes to both romance and faith, Wright is neither in your face nor preachy but allows her characters to wrestle and grow throughout the pages. It’s a beautiful slow burn amid a fast-paced puzzle-solving adventure.

I could go on and on about how the plot is intriguing, with plenty of twists and turns that don’t bog down the reader with too many theories or wild guesses. Or about how I never felt lost concerning what was happening, but I was able to get lost in the story and discover it right alongside our heroines, Thea and Heidi. But I’ll leave you with this: If you enjoy a bit of history and mystery intertwined, grab a cup of your go-to tea, your favorite cozy blanket, and a book light for those midnight hours when you just can’t stop reading—and settle in for a story well worth diving into.


WARNINGS

This book does touch on things like family issues, legalism/borderline spiritual abuse, dementia, special needs, mental health issues (anxiety, as well as treatments throughout history), and death. Again, though, Wright handles theses subjects with grace and effectiveness. As someone who struggles with anxiety and has walked through the heartbreaking journey of having a loved one with dementia, I only felt seen and validated.


QUOTABLE

I couldn’t choose just one quote from this book, so here are a few of my favorites:

The morning had brought with it a measure of hope. Only a little, but with it came the promise that it might grow, that healing was possible.

p. 361

Do you believe—is it foolish to believe that, regardless of the tragedies, of the sorrow, there is a design for our lives?

p. 370

In spite of the darkness, in spite of the crushing weight, this is not the last page. We are not finished, Thea. This place—this life—will break us. But from above, our Creator reaches into the depths, and He will carve into us something new.

p. 371

She was . . . created. And being created was no small thing.

p. 371

ONE HUNDRED WORDS OR LESS LESSON

We can’t edit our lives, but we can seek meaning even in the worst of days and circumstances. God brings hope and light even in the darkness.

I’d love to hear from you! What Jamie Jo Wright book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? Or, what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: