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The Death of Jane Lawrence

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Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must nev Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.


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Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must nev Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

30 review for The Death of Jane Lawrence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy pub day📚🥳🎈 Can you imagine the eerier and more terrifying mash up of House of Leaves- Haunting of Hill House and Rebecca? By the way this cover deserves its own five blazing stars! This is magnificent, terrifying masterpiece! If you like the definition of a couple who realize they start to fall for each other as both of their hands hold intestines of a man in pain, lying on operation table, they’ll love Jane and Augustine! Well, aren’t those weirdos perfect for each other? Jane Shoringfie Happy pub day📚🥳🎈 Can you imagine the eerier and more terrifying mash up of House of Leaves- Haunting of Hill House and Rebecca? By the way this cover deserves its own five blazing stars! This is magnificent, terrifying masterpiece! If you like the definition of a couple who realize they start to fall for each other as both of their hands hold intestines of a man in pain, lying on operation table, they’ll love Jane and Augustine! Well, aren’t those weirdos perfect for each other? Jane Shoringfield is extremely logical woman reminds me of combination of coolest and creepiest actress Rosamund Pike and another blood freezing blond Kim Novak: she’s logical, she plays no games, she knows what kind of struggles awaiting unmarried women so she makes list consisted ten men and Augustine Lawrence is the first name at her list. She just proposes to the man at the beginning and she presents her offer as business arrangement that both sides can be mutually benefited. Jane is good at mathematics and she will organize his accounts as she gets Augustine’s last name. And of course Augustine will resume staying each night at Lindridge Hall-the female estate. No romance, intimacy or consummating of marriage will be required. They keep their public faces as happily married couple as they keep their independence behind the close doors! Both Augustine and Jane are quiet quirky, awkward ! They are truly weird match made in hell. But their well thought plans change abruptly at the wedding night because of the unexpected storm and mudslides which prevent Jane’s carriage move back to town. She returns back to Lindridge Hall where her husband dearest forbid her to stay but at the storm there’s nowhere else for her to stay! As soon as she spends two nights at the place, Jane realizes Augustine keeps dark secrets from her. Jane checks the accounting book and finds out a recorded large amount of balance belongs to a name called Elodie. Jane finds some entries at the previous months as well. Who the hell that woman? Is she Augustine’s estranged daughter? And who is the red eyed woman looking at from the window? The creepy things start to happen behind the closed and locked doors, crumbling walls of Lindridge Hall! Nothing is as it seems! And as the magic starts, everything in Jane’s life traumatically changes! She doesn’t different what is real and what is illusion anymore! The gothic, twisty version of Rebecca with Alienist vibes and Crimson Peak push you turn the pages faster! Especially the last third of the book is truly shocking, jaw dropping, a great kind of lunatic! The beginning of the book was a little compelling! You just have to be patient for the upcoming juicy parts! As soon as Jane finds herself at Lindridge Hall, true magic starts to enchant you! I only lower one star for my troubled and bumpy start of the book but overall it’s whirlwind, high tension, intense, gothic, blood freezing, WTH I just read kind of promising reading for the genre fans! I highly recommend it! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions. Follow me: instagram facebook twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was hoping for a gothic ghost story but I didn't really get that. In an effort to secure her future Jane has decided to find a husband of convenience. She isn't one for affection and intimacy she just wants a man that will allow her to do meaningful work with no strings attached. She finds that Dr. Augustine Lawrence fits the bill perfectly. He agrees under the one condition that she never steps foot in his house, Lindridge Hall. She soon finds herself in an accident on the side of the road in I was hoping for a gothic ghost story but I didn't really get that. In an effort to secure her future Jane has decided to find a husband of convenience. She isn't one for affection and intimacy she just wants a man that will allow her to do meaningful work with no strings attached. She finds that Dr. Augustine Lawrence fits the bill perfectly. He agrees under the one condition that she never steps foot in his house, Lindridge Hall. She soon finds herself in an accident on the side of the road in a raging storm leaving her no other options than to seek shelter there. Upon arriving she finds her usually stoic husband a paranoid mess. What exactly is going on? That's when I should have shut this book for good. Talk about boring. I, at first, admired Jane. I liked that she seemed an independent woman looking to secure her own future. That is until she became weak kneed and all hearts a flutter every time Augustine looked at her. So much for the feminist angle. Augustine is a weak willed twit that I have a hard time believing any woman would become so besotted with. Again, I was hoping for a gothic ghost story but this book decided to take a black magic route that completely lost me. I am not a fan of magic in my fiction. This also lacked atmosphere and chills both of which I was seeking to find. Both of which I was expecting to find considering the genre. So, ultimately, this was a huge let down for me. 2 stars!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 4.5 stars The crumbling manor at Lindridge Hall hides a deadly secret, one that will be unearthed when its new mistress steps over the threshold. Jane Shoringfield is nothing short of practical, and having reached the end of her living period with her guardians, decides that the most logical way forward will be to secure herself a husband. The chosen candidate for this transaction is the reclusive, yet handsome, doctor Augustine, whose profession may provide her with the very independence that ↠ 4.5 stars The crumbling manor at Lindridge Hall hides a deadly secret, one that will be unearthed when its new mistress steps over the threshold. Jane Shoringfield is nothing short of practical, and having reached the end of her living period with her guardians, decides that the most logical way forward will be to secure herself a husband. The chosen candidate for this transaction is the reclusive, yet handsome, doctor Augustine, whose profession may provide her with the very independence that she requires. Augustine agrees to this marriage of convenience, on the agreement that Jane never set foot in Lindridge Hall, his family estate just outside of town. Nonetheless, on the night of their wedding, a chance storm leaves her stranded and Jane is forced to return to the manor. When she arrives, she finds the demeanor of her husband gone, and in its place a frightened and paranoid man unable to discern reality from fiction. Morning comes, and Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows deep within her bones that something is horribly wrong with her husband and the house she now occupies. A profound fear only magnified by her continued stay within the manor's walls. Placed within the realm of Crimson Peak, Rebecca, and Shirley Jackson, The Death of Jane Lawrence is an impressive gothic horror novel that fucked with my mind in the best way possible. Set in a dark version of Post-War England, packed full of supernatural and spooky vibes, this is one of the most brilliant and unnerving books that I have read all year. Part of the journey with this novel is in just how much it upends what is understood at any given moment. I started this off scared of the Crimson Peak comparison, and that feeling really never went away because of how often the book turned all of my expectations on their head. The first section is ominous, hung over with impending dread that is drawn out like poison from a wound upon the first occurrence with Jane and Augustine at the manor. This was reminiscent of so many Gothic novels of the past, that sudden shift in tone from an incident, that traverses through to the end of the narrative. There was an unsteady ground between Jane and Augustine present in the first half, as both characters were hiding secrets from the other. Altogether, I loved not really knowing who to put trust in, as I fell into the book's rhythm to be entirely unpredictable. Past the first half of the novel is where the atmosphere twists into something slightly enigmatic. This is where I puzzled with the text a bit more and was left completely shattered by the end results. A tangled web that I endeavored to take apart in order to make sense of it all. While I will say this section could have been pared down, at that point, it was like the top of a rollercoaster and I was just along for the rest of the ride. In every respect, Caitlin Starling has created a haunting tale, charged with callbacks to iconic gothic fiction of days past. The Death of Jane Lawrence is an eerily brilliant novel that bends reality and twists the mind towards its breaking point. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings: blood, gore, violence, death, animal death, medical procedures

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **2.5-stars rounded up** Jane Shoringfield is a practical, independent woman, but unfortunately she lives in a time when that sort of personality is frowned upon; it's expected that all women will marry and ultimately care for a home. In order to best get by, Jane decides she does need to find a husband, yes, but she wants it to be a marriage of convenience. One where she will still be able to work and maintain a portion of her current independence. She sets her sights on a handsome, yet reclusive **2.5-stars rounded up** Jane Shoringfield is a practical, independent woman, but unfortunately she lives in a time when that sort of personality is frowned upon; it's expected that all women will marry and ultimately care for a home. In order to best get by, Jane decides she does need to find a husband, yes, but she wants it to be a marriage of convenience. One where she will still be able to work and maintain a portion of her current independence. She sets her sights on a handsome, yet reclusive, doctor, Augustine Lawrence. Jane presents her plan to the good doctor and to her surprise, he accepts. He does have one condition, however, that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his decreipt manor on the outskirts of town. Jane agrees, but when a freak accident strands her on the manor steps in the middle of night, Augustine must relent and let her in. Jane is disturbed by the state she finds him in. He seems a different man, scared and paranoid instead of smart and strong. What is going on here? By morning, Augustine seems to be back to his old self. Now that Jane has been introduced to the sinister mystery of Lindridge Hall, however, she wants to know more. What makes this place so frighteningly special to Augustine and why didn't he want her here? As Jane goes deeper into her husband's history, as well as that of Lindridge Hall, she is introduced to whole new worlds she never even knew existed. The Death of Jane Lawrence has a super intriguing premise. It's dripping in dark, gothic atmosphere and for that, I applaud it. I appreciated the incorporation of the occult ideas explored, as well as the build-up to the craziness. With this being said, it got a little too crazy for my tastes. It felt too addled; like a non-stop fever dream. There was almost too much going on to be able to sink in and enjoy that rich gothic atmosphere. It distracted me and lost me. I will admit to being a bit let down by this one. I was so looking forward to it and wish I could have connected with it more. In spite of my slight criticisms, Starling's writing style is quite pleasing. It has a nice flow and as mentioned before, it definitely delivers on atmosphere. I know a lot of Readers are really going to love this one. Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin's Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies of this to read and review. The narrator for the audiobook is fantastic, so I definitely would recommend giving it a listen if you have that option!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    gothic + historical + romance + ghosts + magic rituals this was very much my kind of book

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This book both delighted and terrified me, in equal measure. A marriage of convenience trope? An old, crumbling and isolated manor? Yes, please. Jane Shorefield wants to marry, and as quick as she can, in order to maintain her independence. She chooses Augustine Lawrence, the beloved and mysterious town doctor. Augustine hesitatingly agrees on the condition that Jane should never set foot in his family home. But, of course, that plan falls apart as soon as the pair wed. Jane soon discovers inexp This book both delighted and terrified me, in equal measure. A marriage of convenience trope? An old, crumbling and isolated manor? Yes, please. Jane Shorefield wants to marry, and as quick as she can, in order to maintain her independence. She chooses Augustine Lawrence, the beloved and mysterious town doctor. Augustine hesitatingly agrees on the condition that Jane should never set foot in his family home. But, of course, that plan falls apart as soon as the pair wed. Jane soon discovers inexplicable horrors within the walls of Lindridge Hall and the reason why her new husband wanted to hide it from her. I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Books don’t usually scare me, but this one definitely did. I’ve never watched Crimson Peak, so I don’t know if it compares to that, but I can say I noticed Bluebeard similarities while reading this book. I loved Jane; she’s a smart, practical woman who goes on a journey in this book, facing things that she never would have considered possible before meeting Augustine. I will have to check out Caitlin Starling’s other works post-haste. Thank you Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for an e-ARC of this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jananie (thisstoryaintover)

    this was weird! and not entirely in a good way 🤔

  8. 4 out of 5

    Boston

    Do you like your gothic horror with a big slice of mind-fuck? Do you like a cast of characters, none of which you can trust? Then boy do I have a book for you. The Death of Jane Lawrence begins as a seemingly simple story. A marriage of convenience with a single condition. Jane is to never visit Lindridge Hall. A condition that is broken because this is a book we’re talking about and books require plots. What follows will have you questioning your own sanity and staying up late just to know more Do you like your gothic horror with a big slice of mind-fuck? Do you like a cast of characters, none of which you can trust? Then boy do I have a book for you. The Death of Jane Lawrence begins as a seemingly simple story. A marriage of convenience with a single condition. Jane is to never visit Lindridge Hall. A condition that is broken because this is a book we’re talking about and books require plots. What follows will have you questioning your own sanity and staying up late just to know more. Definitely a contender for best horror of the year. *thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    2.5 Stars. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justin Chen

    3 stars When a novel's strength is also it's weakness; The Death of Jane Lawrence is a modern take on gothic fiction, incorporating elements of mathematics and metaphysics. While the final output suffers from over-writing, and drowning in its own complicated pseudo-logic, it is still an amiable exercise at re-invigorating a familiar setting. Caitlin Starling's detail-oriented prose shines when it comes to establishing settings and depicting surreal, grotesque supernatural incidents. But beyond the 3 stars When a novel's strength is also it's weakness; The Death of Jane Lawrence is a modern take on gothic fiction, incorporating elements of mathematics and metaphysics. While the final output suffers from over-writing, and drowning in its own complicated pseudo-logic, it is still an amiable exercise at re-invigorating a familiar setting. Caitlin Starling's detail-oriented prose shines when it comes to establishing settings and depicting surreal, grotesque supernatural incidents. But beyond these critical moments, this devotion for the minutia can be laborious to get through; the pacing never peaks because everything is dragged out by hollow textual busywork (no matter how beautifully written). You know this is an issue when chunks of paragraph can be skipped without losing the plot—the book can easily be 80+ pages shorter. Set in a fictitious universe, this 'alternate timeline' approach allows flexibility in imagining a world that is more fantastical than our historical reality. With the female protagonist being someone who's obsessed with logic and order, the story presents memorable moments where her belief is thoroughly challenged. On the flip-side, without a grounded context (and the book never fully fleshes out its own world), and threats repeatedly resolved by fabricated conveniences, I find myself losing empathy as The Death of Jane Lawrence becomes more and more outlandish. The final 'revelation' (No spoiler, but to those who've read the book it should be clear which chapter I'm referring to) is beautifully complex—would've been a daring move to end the book there, as the remaining material feels anticlimactic, drawing to a conclusion very typical to stories of this genre. Overall, The Death of Jane Lawrence excels in conjuring the foreboding atmosphere and the supernatural, but the narrative as a whole suffers from an imbalance of homage and new ideas. Still, there is enough polish here to make it worth checking out. ***This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!***

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    2.5⭐ Dilapidated stone mansion, candelabra, tunnels, and dark spells. This is a gothic horror that will surely please many readers. It's a slow burn and not quite what I was looking for. The first half is good as the place, a handsome surgeon, and Jane are introduced. The second half has a lot going on and didn't hold my interest. I was hoping to love this book, but I'm not the right reader for it. 2.5⭐ Dilapidated stone mansion, candelabra, tunnels, and dark spells. This is a gothic horror that will surely please many readers. It's a slow burn and not quite what I was looking for. The first half is good as the place, a handsome surgeon, and Jane are introduced. The second half has a lot going on and didn't hold my interest. I was hoping to love this book, but I'm not the right reader for it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I received a copy for free in exchange for an honest review; my thanks to NetGalley and the author! This book was so so very well done. Starling sucks you into a fictional setting that is eerily similar to an immediate post-WWI era world. She does an excellent job of pulling you, pulling the rug out from under you, drawing you back in, then yoinking the carpet again, and then...and then I cannot say because of spoilers, but man oh man, my jaw was on the floor. This book is an excellent Gothic Ho I received a copy for free in exchange for an honest review; my thanks to NetGalley and the author! This book was so so very well done. Starling sucks you into a fictional setting that is eerily similar to an immediate post-WWI era world. She does an excellent job of pulling you, pulling the rug out from under you, drawing you back in, then yoinking the carpet again, and then...and then I cannot say because of spoilers, but man oh man, my jaw was on the floor. This book is an excellent Gothic Horror tale with romantic elements. Well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linden Lewis

    THIS BOOK. It gave me nightmares, which is awesome. I'm probably not going to shut up about it either. If you think "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell would be cool if it was scary," THIS IS FOR YOU. If you want Crimson Peak but TWISTED, this is for you!! THIS BOOK. It gave me nightmares, which is awesome. I'm probably not going to shut up about it either. If you think "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell would be cool if it was scary," THIS IS FOR YOU. If you want Crimson Peak but TWISTED, this is for you!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    2/5stars God this was such a let down. This book tried to be WAY too many things - gothic, paranormal, cult, magic, existential, "Rebecca," "Jane Eyre," "Full Metal Alchemist," all on a bad cocaine trip. Nothing made sense - the magic wasn't explained, the relationship between the two main characters made no sense (why was she SO dedicated to this man she met a week ago in a marriage of convenience???), everything became so convoluted and confusing it was ridiculous. This felt both WAY too long (i 2/5stars God this was such a let down. This book tried to be WAY too many things - gothic, paranormal, cult, magic, existential, "Rebecca," "Jane Eyre," "Full Metal Alchemist," all on a bad cocaine trip. Nothing made sense - the magic wasn't explained, the relationship between the two main characters made no sense (why was she SO dedicated to this man she met a week ago in a marriage of convenience???), everything became so convoluted and confusing it was ridiculous. This felt both WAY too long (i stg it had 9 different times that i was like "this HAS to be the end of it") and not long enough because it was trying to do 75 different things. Also the title is a spoiler???? but also a lie???? what was this book trying to do please someone tell me. Also I was about to give it 2.5 stars and legit had to drop it to 2 cause this entire book took place over 2 weeks and that is the stupidest thing i've ever heard in my fucking life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Death always wins...... The Death of Jane Lawrence is a hot, bubbling cauldron of emotions. We've got all the dark, slimy things that go bump in the night and the movement of ill-shaped shadows that form along the winding hallways. No matter how tightly you close your eyes, strange wigglies seem to seep into the webby corners of your mind and play loud echoes all night long. Meet Jane Shoringfield, a crackerjack accountant who specializes in annuity funds. She's lived with the Cunninghams since sh Death always wins...... The Death of Jane Lawrence is a hot, bubbling cauldron of emotions. We've got all the dark, slimy things that go bump in the night and the movement of ill-shaped shadows that form along the winding hallways. No matter how tightly you close your eyes, strange wigglies seem to seep into the webby corners of your mind and play loud echoes all night long. Meet Jane Shoringfield, a crackerjack accountant who specializes in annuity funds. She's lived with the Cunninghams since she was a child. But Mr. Cunningham will be taking on a new judgeship in another town. Jane realizes that opportunities for marriage will soon be out of reach because of her age and position. She's talented in business transactions and that's exactly what her next step will be. Meet Dr. Augustine Lawrence. Augustine is an over-worked physician in the town of Larrenton. He has gained a reputation for his patient care and his success as a surgeon. Our Jane corners Augustine one morning as he is leaving his surgery. She bargains with him to become his wife with strictly friendly terms. She can take care of his ledgers and efficiently run his office. Our girl is persistent and Augustine agrees to allow her into his surgery on a trial basis. Marriage is not what he has in mind. But by chance, Jane assists him in an emergency surgery and keeps her wits about her. Augustine has now changed his mind..... Oh, Sweet Girl, be careful what you wish for. There is something beyond peculiar at Lindridge Hall, the rundown family mansion of Augustine. He insists on sleeping there each evening with new wife Jane staying at the surgery. And the minute that Jane steps over the threshhold of that eerie decaying house, the Creep-O-Meter will be at full throttle. Just check out all those little details in that eye-catching book cover. Caitlin Starling has created a Gothic nightmare within these pages and approaches it with a very original theme. And yet, there is the familiarity of classic horror of long ago movies and literature within these walls. The story does become very detailed in its conclusion with some repetitious scenes that could have benefitted from paring down. But The Death of Jane Lawrence hits its target with the main ingredient of horror......heart-pounding apprehension. Foreboding served up in those long, boney fingers ready to grab you on that hair-raising cover. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Caitlin Starling for the opportunity.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    My 2 star rating might seem harsh as there’s a lot of great aspects to this novel but unfortunately a couple BIG factors weighed it down for me. Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks My 2 star rating might seem harsh as there’s a lot of great aspects to this novel but unfortunately a couple BIG factors weighed it down for me. Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Starling

    The Death of Jane Lawrence is part love letter to classic gothic horror, part gory dive into the perilous world of Victorian surgery, and part exploration of where magic and math collide. I wrote this book after seeing Crimson Peak for the first time in theaters, which rekindled my childhood adoration of gothic romances (Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera) to a raging fire, and I used it to explore many of my weirder interests, even as I built characters that explored the best The Death of Jane Lawrence is part love letter to classic gothic horror, part gory dive into the perilous world of Victorian surgery, and part exploration of where magic and math collide. I wrote this book after seeing Crimson Peak for the first time in theaters, which rekindled my childhood adoration of gothic romances (Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera) to a raging fire, and I used it to explore many of my weirder interests, even as I built characters that explored the best and worst of myself. This is not a book for everybody. It is gruesome and strange, and walks an uncomfortable line between romance and horror and something... else. But if you, like me, grew up fascinated by medical procedures and the history of what it means to be a doctor; if you are at all curious about why the creators of Western calculus were more often than not alchemists and magicians in their own right; if you want a gothic horror where the heroine is entranced not just by the brooding hero, but by the possibility of making his secrets her own- This book is for you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    A haunting gothic horror tale that leaves you guessing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Books with Brittany

    3.75⭐️ What a fun time. Thoroughly enjoyed our MC Jane

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    If I had to describe the book in three words, I would say: math, magic, and drugs; thus you get The Death of Jane Lawrence! I liked the little nods to classic gothic lit tropes and novels/movies, such as Rebecca and Crimson Peak but I wasn't fully on board with this book. Don't get me wrong, Starling nailed the creepy atmosphere but the plot got too confusing and convoluted for my liking. If it was executed better, I would have rated this higher. The prose was the defining part of the novel and it If I had to describe the book in three words, I would say: math, magic, and drugs; thus you get The Death of Jane Lawrence! I liked the little nods to classic gothic lit tropes and novels/movies, such as Rebecca and Crimson Peak but I wasn't fully on board with this book. Don't get me wrong, Starling nailed the creepy atmosphere but the plot got too confusing and convoluted for my liking. If it was executed better, I would have rated this higher. The prose was the defining part of the novel and it was lovely, but the descriptive writing soon became redundant. The story dragged until the 50% mark and then it started to go in circles. The book could have easily been condensed without losing any of its meaning. I liked how the book delved into the occult and it went in a direction I was not expecting but it got too meta for my brain to comprehend. Using mathematical theorems, particularly the number “zero” signifying “everything and nothing” was such a fascinating way to describe a magic system, but I felt that Starling could have explained it more. Or maybe I'm just dumb as rocks and didn't understand a thing. Either way, it was a solid horror with a likable and smart protagonist. I’m not the person for this book but I’m sure there are readers out there who will love this!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    2.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    The Death of Jane Lawrence, a horror/gothic novel, was a solid 4 star read. The book centers around Jane-a young woman that is sensible well beyond her years. After much thought, she is determined to marry Dr. Augustine Lawrence. A marriage that Jane believes will be both practical and successful for both of them, as she’ll help him with the accounting for his business and he’ll give her the independence she so desperately craves. Things take an eerie turn after they are married-as she stays in The Death of Jane Lawrence, a horror/gothic novel, was a solid 4 star read. The book centers around Jane-a young woman that is sensible well beyond her years. After much thought, she is determined to marry Dr. Augustine Lawrence. A marriage that Jane believes will be both practical and successful for both of them, as she’ll help him with the accounting for his business and he’ll give her the independence she so desperately craves. Things take an eerie turn after they are married-as she stays in Lindridge Hall (the doctor’s creepy and dilapidated home), she starts seeing bone-chilling things, things that her husband swears are just bad dreams. Who is her husband exactly and what is he hiding?! The Death of Jane Lawrence is a well-written and entertaining book. I enjoyed the creepy atmosphere and the cast of characters throughout the book, especially Jane as a strong and sensible woman. Highly recommend to fans of dark/horror books. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    Three Stars DNF @ 60% I don’t read much fiction, but occasionally enjoy gothic horror- especially when it takes place in England. This book had a promising start, but at about the halfway mark went off the rails for me. I no longer have the will to invest the time to finish this. For a brief synopsis, this takes place in a fictional place called Great Breltain. Jane has lived with the Cunninghams most of her life, but now that they are moving away because of her “father’s” new judgeship, she is loo Three Stars DNF @ 60% I don’t read much fiction, but occasionally enjoy gothic horror- especially when it takes place in England. This book had a promising start, but at about the halfway mark went off the rails for me. I no longer have the will to invest the time to finish this. For a brief synopsis, this takes place in a fictional place called Great Breltain. Jane has lived with the Cunninghams most of her life, but now that they are moving away because of her “father’s” new judgeship, she is looking to marry. It sounds like this takes place in Victorian times (or earlier), where a woman needs to be attached to a man in society. So she proposes a marriage/business arrangement to young Dr. Augustine Lawrence. She already has performed accountant services for her father, so hopes to lend these talents to the doctor’s practice. Dr. Lawrence, while young and good-looking, has an air of melancholy and mystery. As a trial run of sorts, Jane is summoned to his surgery where a very chaotic scene of a man who has seemingly stabbed himself needs emergency treatment. It was a riveting account where Jane rose to the occasion assisting Dr. Lawrence in his life-saving ministrations. The immediate aftermath was a high for both, but the adrenaline soon unraveled with fear and doom. One of the terms agreed upon was that only Dr. Lawrence would stay/sleep at his family’s longtime residence, Lindridge Hall. Jane would remain at the home which housed the surgery. But of course, events unfold which land Jane at Lindridge Hall, where ghosts, blood, scorcery and a basement crypt make it a place to stay far away from! As I alluded to before, I was immediately drawn into this macabre tale, but just beyond the halfway point it became a muddled mess to read that made little sense. I felt tossed about in a violent rainstorm where my horse carriage turned over in the mud. I just don’t have the fortitude or desire to go on, so I rate this 3 Stars at the 60% mark. Thank you to to the publisher St. Martin’s Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  24. 5 out of 5

    BON ☆

    Thank you to Netgalley for a copy to review! I wanted to enjoy this book. Horror, a gothic atmosphere, a strong lady protagonist who was reminiscent at first of Deanna Raybourn's excellent leading ladies. Alas, no. I soon found this book overzealous - both a haunted house and magical world(?) meshed together in an unreliable narration that had my head spinning by the halfway point. I think it should've been one or the other - the book wasn't long enough to flesh out any of its assets sufficientl Thank you to Netgalley for a copy to review! I wanted to enjoy this book. Horror, a gothic atmosphere, a strong lady protagonist who was reminiscent at first of Deanna Raybourn's excellent leading ladies. Alas, no. I soon found this book overzealous - both a haunted house and magical world(?) meshed together in an unreliable narration that had my head spinning by the halfway point. I think it should've been one or the other - the book wasn't long enough to flesh out any of its assets sufficiently for me. Not the unique Britain-adjacent alternate setting, the ghosts, the strange and tepid maybe-romance, nor the nebulous magic system. By the sixty percent mark, I was so lost in the garbled, metaphysical turn the plot had taken that I was having absolutely zero fun. This is from a veteran reader of dark, ghostly, magical stories, so...Not great. As for pros, I will say that I suppose if readers are meant to feel immersed, the author certainly achieved that. I felt as insane as the protagonist was at several parts, and the horrific, gross descriptions of magical rites and spells' ill effects had me nauseous. If you enjoy darker, visceral magic systems, like that of Ninth House, this felt familiar, though the latter redeemed its grossness with other good aspects.

  25. 4 out of 5

    La Crosse County Library

    A combination of the October BookPage at our country branches and a certain coworker’s recommendation is all I need when it comes to picking new horror books to read. The cover looked great, and the synopsis hinted at a gothic, haunted house so I was ready dive right in as soon as I got my hands on The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling. The novel follows the main character, Jane, who decides that it is an opportune time to get married as a sort of a business agreement since she doesn’t A combination of the October BookPage at our country branches and a certain coworker’s recommendation is all I need when it comes to picking new horror books to read. The cover looked great, and the synopsis hinted at a gothic, haunted house so I was ready dive right in as soon as I got my hands on The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling. The novel follows the main character, Jane, who decides that it is an opportune time to get married as a sort of a business agreement since she doesn’t see love in her future. She does her due diligence and picks the town doctor, Augustine, as her top marriage candidate believing that with some convincing that this marriage could be fruitful for both. They eventually agree and set some ground rules for the marriage, but it isn’t long before happenstance decides to dash those rules exposing Jane to the mysteries surrounding Augustine and his decrepit estate. She must dig through the mysteries surrounding Augustine and his friends instead of wanting to remain ignorant since she truly might have fallen in love with him. You see, this isn’t a story bound in realism so expect some magic and paranormal hijinks. In fact, this story takes place in an alternative reality. I must confess it took me a while (between 20-40 pages in at least) to understand the setting since I didn’t read the whole synopsis. I didn’t realize this took place in an alternate reality of a past war-torn England. I was trying to look up the named towns and certain ethnicities only to find myself confounded at every turn at which point I finally had an epiphany after finishing the synopsis. Since this was based in an alternative reality, it made sense that certain things unfolded the way they did towards the latter half of the book. I was glad that the book only followed one POV since it kept the reader guessing at mysteries and lies told by certain characters. I really did like Jane as a character with how human she seemed. At first, she was this closed off person dealing with childhood tragedies who was also clever with math and picking up unknown things. Her shortcomings were obvious, yet her drive in getting what she thinks she wants and confronting problems she has directly really warmed her to me. The inclusion of math into the story was nice especially how it was used later since Math seems almost the cornerstone of how Jane sees the world. Augustine was a complex character where I liked and disliked his character while also pitying him a little bit. The rest of the characters were typical supporting cast characters except for one of Augustine’s friends who helps our main character. The premise of being in an alternative universe was used to explain why (view spoiler)[ Magic and creatures (hide spoiler)] existed, yet I still think it could have done without renaming cities and countries that were portrayed. The traditional gothic start in the first half of the book was fun to read with creepy parts and certain mysteries surrounding the good doctor and his abode. There was a certain event that occurred later in the book that flipped the story on its head. Even then I was still invested in the story until the story again started changing after an event with an immovable door. From there, our characters started spiraling and a lot of metaphysical and timey wimey stuff started happening. The only thing I can really say about the later part of the book and the ending was that it was weird and took me out of the story. There is a reveal at the end as well that felt inspired by The Haunting of Hill House series. The novel left me with unanswered questions and the ending felt unsatisfying to me. Overall, I liked the book with the eerie gothic feel, but the latter half got too metaphysical and weird for me. I would say that this book is a combination of Crimson Peaks and The Haunting of Hill House . Seeing how I did enjoy the writing and the story in the book, I look forward to reading more books by Caitlin Starling. Find this book and other titles within our catalog.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Reading this story means becoming lost in a glorious madness. Let go of all expectations and sink into the Gothic reality that is this story as it takes you away. Starling's writing is lovely, sharp and full of enough descriptive quality to bring the dark atmosphere of The Death of Jane Lawrence into crystal relief. Reading this story means becoming lost in a glorious madness. Let go of all expectations and sink into the Gothic reality that is this story as it takes you away. Starling's writing is lovely, sharp and full of enough descriptive quality to bring the dark atmosphere of The Death of Jane Lawrence into crystal relief.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Starling's best yet Starling's best yet

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    On paper this should be 100% up my alley, a gothic horror in an alternate history, with an independent heroine who loves math. I liked the first third pretty well, then as more magic entered the story I started to lag, and I had to really push through to finish. The best guess I have as to why this didn't really work for me is that I didn't really know what the stakes were. The magic stuff was unclear to me and so much of the book is Jane by herself. I really enjoyed Starling's debut, which also On paper this should be 100% up my alley, a gothic horror in an alternate history, with an independent heroine who loves math. I liked the first third pretty well, then as more magic entered the story I started to lag, and I had to really push through to finish. The best guess I have as to why this didn't really work for me is that I didn't really know what the stakes were. The magic stuff was unclear to me and so much of the book is Jane by herself. I really enjoyed Starling's debut, which also had a lot of protagonist-by-herself, but at least then we had a second character who may not have been physically present but was seeing everything and speaking to her. I don't know if this is a book with some significant flaws or if it's one of those cases where me and the book are just not the right fit for each other.

  29. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    I had thought I'd love this, but instead I had no clue what the hell was going on. What she having a mental breakdown? Was she imagining it all? Was she completely logical and rational? Who the hell knows. And no, please do not try to explain it to me in the comments. I don't really care. I did appreciate the Gothic elements, the haunted manor, the surgical techniques and the call-backs to classical Gothic novels like Jane Eyre, and I was really feeling the steadily creeping creepiness of Augustin I had thought I'd love this, but instead I had no clue what the hell was going on. What she having a mental breakdown? Was she imagining it all? Was she completely logical and rational? Who the hell knows. And no, please do not try to explain it to me in the comments. I don't really care. I did appreciate the Gothic elements, the haunted manor, the surgical techniques and the call-backs to classical Gothic novels like Jane Eyre, and I was really feeling the steadily creeping creepiness of Augustine and the house, but after the 70% mark it delved into weirdness and I just wasn't feeling it at all.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4 whattttt stars Calling all fans of Mexican Gothic....This is not a book for the meek, it's a book for those of us who loved that story and are looking for a more intense, Gothic-a la Victorian version of it with more magic and more medical gore. Plot: ★★★★ Pacing: ★★ Horror elements: ★★★★★ Engagement: ★★★ 1/2 Jane Shorefield lives her life by the numbers. A rare female accountant in a a world that feels like Victorian England, she's done the math and decided that she needs a husband--and after car 4 whattttt stars Calling all fans of Mexican Gothic....This is not a book for the meek, it's a book for those of us who loved that story and are looking for a more intense, Gothic-a la Victorian version of it with more magic and more medical gore. Plot: ★★★★ Pacing: ★★ Horror elements: ★★★★★ Engagement: ★★★ 1/2 Jane Shorefield lives her life by the numbers. A rare female accountant in a a world that feels like Victorian England, she's done the math and decided that she needs a husband--and after careful consideration of the bachelors in her small town, she decides on Doctor Augustine Lawrence. Augustine is single, attractive, and respectable, with well-paying job as the town's only doctor. He's a great match. It is weird that Augustine is still single and seemingly not interested in marriage... but Jane decides to give it a try. She proposes a business transaction: they'll get married to save Jane from spinsterhood and to provide Augustine with a live-in woman to help him with his practice's accounts. Augustine agrees. Now Mrs. Jane Lawrence, she discovers several things in quick succession. First, Augustine's practice is filled with death and the dying--for a woman who only thought about the numbers involved, it's a rough awakening to be thrown into a hectic and gory surgery on her first day in the practice. Second, her husband refuses to let her spend the night in his family estate outside of town. His vicious vehemence takes her aback. Jane agrees, but like all good stories we know that doesn't last. Third, there's something Augustine isn't telling her. Jane can't expect anything more, as she knows they did this for convenience and not for love, but there's something under the surface that Jane can feel at the edges of their relationship. What is it? When a simple miscommunication leads to Jane arriving at the estate, everything begins to change. Jane quickly realizes that her world is not what it seems.... and at the heart of the wrongness is Augustine. Gross, gory, and enrapturing, The Death of Jane Lawrence was a doozy of a novel. The sense of menace in the writing was top tier. From the beginning, you can feel the trap closing around Jane despite her point of view trying to make logical sense of her surroundings. I was waiting with baited breath for the shoe(s) to drop. (Boy, do they ever.) Once Jane gets to the estate and things start to happen, the pacing and plot develops into its final form of intricately paced and plotted horror. I both loved the pacing and absolutely hated it. It was too slow for me, but I couldn't stop? That duality carries throughout the entirety of this novel. You're attracted and yet repelled, boring and yet enraptured, disgusted and yet understanding. Intense. I liked it a lot for what it was, but count this one in the category of "I can't believe I liked this, it was so dark and twisted" fiction such as Mexican Gothic, Follow Me to Ground, and others. Spoilers for the graphic elements: (view spoiler)[Detailed description of graphic surgeries (including one pregnant one and another abdomen-related surgery), detailed description of a ritual involving cutting open a woman and dealing with her heart, frequent body horror, climax relies almost entirely on a scene around another graphic abdomen surgery and growths. (hide spoiler)] Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

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