An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
Puppets. (Yes, puppets…)
A mysterious house looming over the sea…
He's a reclusive writer whose imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill his characters with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill an audience with laughs. But she's not laughing now.
Annie Hewitt has arrived on Peregrine Island in the middle of a snowstorm and at the end of her resources. She's broke, dispirited, but not quite ready to give up. Her red suitcases hold the puppets she uses to make her living: sensible Dilly, spunky Scamp, and Leo, the baddest of bad guys. Her puppets, the romantic novels she loves, and a little bit of courage are all she has left.
Annie couldn't be more ill prepared for what she finds when she reaches Moonraker Cottage or for the man who dwells in Harp House, the mysterious mansion that hovers above the cottage from a windblown cliff. When she was a teenager, he betrayed her in a way she can never forget or forgive. Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business.
Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.
©2014 Susan Elizabeth Phillips (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
Find some way to down play the puppets. For the most part I really didn't like them. I understand the role they play, but I think they could have been written in without being such an integeral part of Annie's life that she constantly heard their voices in her head and she talked to them as if they were real? I found it annoying and it creeped me out a bit and made me question her sanity.
I enjoyed the flash backs to Annie's youth so that you understood the history, as she knew it, between her and Theo (her love interest). I also enjoyed slowly uncovering the truth about Theo and his life. The mystery of who was trying to get her to leave the island was interesting as well.
Yes. Very distinct voices. Would happily listen to another of her narrations.
Lack of puppets. Did I mention I really didn't like them?
This book is a little over 12 hrs long. If you can force yourself to get through the first 4 hrs or so, then it starts to change and gets better. I have to say that I really haven't enjoyed the last two books SEP has written. I found that I was forcing myself to continue on and finish them. If this trend continues I will drop her from my "must read" authors list.
As a rule Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes humorous stories. This one is somewhat of a mystery with not as much humor in it. Actually I found it took me awhile to really get into the story. But was very glad I stayed with it. There were twists and turns in who the real villain was going to end up being. Along with the little mute girl and the hand puppet's. Will I listen to this book again? You bet I will. Erin Bennett did a great job narrating as well. If you are looking for another laugh out loud story? Do not buy this one. If however you would like to read a good light mystery? This Book is the one to buy.
I'm blind & I live in Loveland, Co, I like to be with my guide dog, family & friends, I love to listen to book's music & play on my computer
Not the same
I love SEP books, but this one is not the same as her others. But I still liked the story, I have all of her books and I think they all are Great, so if this is your first book that you have tried and you didn't like it, Then you need to try another one, they are really good.
The creation of multiple puppet characters to represent the heroine's thoughts and emotions was distracting, slightly creepy, and weakened the overall story.
Injected humor and more likable protagonists. Never warmed up to the heroine or hero, and thus just didn't care what happened to either.
The performance was excellent. The narrator performed unique voices for multiple characters, and had great acting ability. However, the story was too weak to be retrieved by the performance.
It's ok for what she had to work with.
The whole book is weak. I would not have published it. I feel they would not have had it not been an established author.
This is my one of my favorite authors. I have read and listened to her books many times and had her name not been on this book I would have thought someone else wrote it. I just could not wait for it to be over. I usually read and listen to this author for the great characters and their smart back and forth. Not this time. It's like she just pumped something out to hit a deadline. So disappointing.
Typical Susan Elizabeth Phillips - a fun read. I'm already for the next book! She has interesting twists and turns to keep you enthralled.
I had a little trouble getting by the puppets at the beginning but my faith in SEP kept me going and I ended up really loving this quirky tale - the narrator was perfect as well and that always helps! Thank you, Susan! 😘
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. Love a well written romance with depth! Liked both the heroin and the hero, good side stories too.
Really? Only three words? Mischievous. Deep. Heartfelt.
I loved Annie and her puppets. Scamp, of course, was my favorite. Annie, though scared of Theo at first, is not afraid to be mischievous. She'll make you laugh and gasp with surprise.
Erin Bennett did fantastic work and I really loved the voice she gave the children in the story. And her performance with Scamp - hysterical! She's quite talented.
I both laughed and cried. At first, I'm wondering about this Theo dude. He had this horribly creepy past where he was cruel and untrustworthy and yet, I'm totally intrigued by him, just like Annie. When you find out that he is so much more than his past and his past is so much bigger that what Annie knows, you feel pulled to him. You want to comfort him and help him heal and believe in himself. And you're sad for the terrible losses he's had in his life. While at the same time, Annie and her ventriloquist abilities will make you laugh and groan.
Susan Elizabeth Philips is NOT an author I should read right before reading someone who doesn't write with as much depth of character. I LOVE her characters and when I read other books, I can't help but wonder how much better SEP would write them - or if she'd even lower herself to write a character so superficial. Every single one of her books have made me laugh and cry and feel great at the end.
The only issue I have, and it's probably because I've read so many of her books, is that they all seem to end the same way - with the guy needing to chase down the girl and prove his love because she does not believe him. I'm a little tired of that, but not enough to stop reading her.
Bring on your next masterpiece, SEP!
"I like that voice"
Rather not, but only - as a non-native listener - I hardly would find anybody to understand the story at all...
I've read a few of SEP's books in English and German, so yes. As a diversion from my usual reading habits.
Don't know exactly. I like her voice and the slightly recognizable amercan accent.
I would never make a film out of this - sorry - thin story. This is a book for leisure-time and a stormy weekend. But no more.
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