The Gilded Cage: A Review

The Gilded Cage by Lucinda GrayOrphaned at a young age, Katherine Randolph and her brother suddenly find out about a grandfather they never met and an inheritance they can hardly imagine. Moving from their Virginia home to Walthingham Hall in England catapults them both to the highest echelons of society.

Katherine is unprepared for the wealth and luxuries suddenly at her disposal. She is uncertain how she will fit into this new world that seems to accept her brother so much more easily.

When her brother drowns unexpectedly, Katherine refuses to believe that it was an accident. Everyone at Walthingham is keen to see Katherine observe proper mourning customs and move on. But how can she when she suspects foul play in her brother’s death? With no one to trust and far too many likely suspects, Katherine will have to sift through Walthingham’s many secrets and sinister lies if she hopes to unearth the truth before it’s too late in The Gilded Cage (2016) by Lucinda Gray.

Katherine is an interesting heroine and narrator. Throughout the novel her American, working class sensibilities come up against the strict standards of British high society showcasing the contrasts between both. Although set slightly before its start in the 1870s, this book’s depiction of 1820s England hearkens back to the gilded age of the US as well.

While Katherine is persistent and headstrong, it is unfortunately often the male characters in this story that discover vital clues to unraveling the mysteries surrounding Walthingham.

The Gilded Cage is a solid gothic mystery. While the story is atmospheric and spooky (complete with a truly chilling asylum), details beyond that about the time period are sparse in this thin novel. Readers familiar with mystery tropes will also likely realize what’s happening at Walthingham long before Katherine. Short chapters and a few genuinely jaw dropping moments make The Gilded Cage a fast-paced story ideal for readers seeking a quick diversion.

Possible Pairings: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee, A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

August 2016 Reading Tracker

You can also see what I read in July.

Books Read:

  1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  2. Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
  3. P. S. I Like You by Kasie West
  4. Tumbling by Caela Carter
  5. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  6. Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
  7. Giant Days Vol. 2
  8. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  9. Library Wars, Volume 15 by Kiiro Yumi
  10. Running Girl by Simon Mason
  11. A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
  12. Help Us! Great Warrior by Madeleine Flores
  13. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  14. The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull
  15. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Books On Deck: I’m playing it by ear this month. Tired of the super detailed planning. I’ll add books to “books read” as I start them. Stay tuned!

Books Bought:

  1. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
  2. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
  3. Also Known As by Robin Benway
  4. Going Rogue by Robin Benway
  5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  6. Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty (ARC upgrade)
  7. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
  8. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
  9. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

ARCs Received:

  1. The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irene Bignull (Thanks Cecelia!)
  2. Papertoy Glowbots by Castleforte (thanks Estelle!)
  3. The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner (publisher)
  4. Cloud Wish by Fiona Wood (Amazon Vine)
  5. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Related: Follow my progress with my BEA 2016 books.

August 1: I’m playing it by ear this month. Tired of the super detailed planning. I’ll add books to “books read” as I start them. Stay tuned!

August 2: Started Three Dark Crowns without reading the blurb. Hi, super intense opening!

August 14: got more reading done than I expected while recovering from oral surgery. Have been picking up books the moment they appeal to me instead of saying “soon” and setting them aside and it has been really refreshing.