Sargasso by Kathy George. (2021).
**4 out of 5 stars**
**Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; published 3 February 2021**
As a child, Hannah lived at Sargasso, the isolated beachside home designed by her brilliant architect father. A lonely and introverted child, her only friend was Flint, an enigmatic boy who no one else every saw and who promised he would always look after her. Hannah’s childhood ended in tragedy but she is back at Sargasso as an adult. Her boyfriend Tristan visits regularly but then, amid a series of uncanny incidents, Flint reappears…and as his possessiveness grows, Hannah’s hold on the world begins to lapse. What is real and what is imaginary, or from beyond the grave?
Well well well. What a read! I honestly spent the entire book wondering if Flint was a real person or completely in Hannah’s imagination, and I kept changing my mind as to the answer to that. Never fear, no spoilers here, I’ll never tell the answer haha. The back blurb states this is a “novel that echoes great Gothic stories of love and hate: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and especially Rebecca”. I’ve not read any of these (oh the shame, the shame!), so I can’t compare but from what I’ve heard of those books it’s an accurate description. Hannah and Flint’s relationship is intense: Flint is obsessive and possessive and Hannah just wants him to be around all the time and struggles to cope whenever he disappears for awhile. Meanwhile we have poor lovely Tristan (Hannah’s boyfriend) just pushed aside when Flint enters Hannah’s life again as an adult. The storyline moves between the present and the past which I enjoyed as it explained Hannah and Flint’s relationship development. Loved the descriptions of Sargasso, I would love to see this special house with it’s glass walkway in real life.
Overall: a very engrossing story that will have you questioning what exactly is going on the entire time. Highly recommend for readers that appreciate a clever psychological mystery and/or gothic literature.