This is a review…there is no need to invoke the term “spoiler alert”.
I was drawn to House Key since I am an artist as well as a fan of historical fiction. When you read this novel you will understand how I was drawn into the story. Although House Key is a sizable tome, I read it in one weekend.
I read Ms. King’s debut novel as soon as it became available in electronic format. I prefer electronic format since I have the ability to highlight (and store) exceptional content and write notes for future reference.
When I search for reading material, my criteria is very selective. I’m searching for a good story to sustain my attention, provide character development to support the plot, and contain threads of history (where I am sure to learn something new). But most importantly, I’m searching for a good story that portrays the author’s ability to compose beautifully written sentences. Once I finish the novel, and I’m satisfied, I immediately seek out additional work by the author.
I was hooked on House Key as soon as I read the prologue. At that point I knew that my criteria would be met, but I didn’t realize that my expectations would be greatly exceeded until I became fully immersed in Jordan and Santiago’s saga.
As an example of Ms. King’s ability to orchestrate words, sentences, and concept into great prose, I electronically highlighted this quote (from Jordan’s point of view) that describes a mysteriously hidden room in the House. “The Indian-ness of the study, I realized, did not match my notion of the American West, alternately romanticized or demonized on television and in the movies I watched growing up. History told by the victors did not necessarily include a lot of truth about the vanquished, I decided. And how could it? The dominant culture, busy promoting its own values and traditions while rooting in new soil, thriving, and prospering, would care little about preserving the culture of the vanquished, let alone bothering to understand it. “
Last but not least, House Key has a healthy dose of sexual tension. However, House Key is much more than your typical romance-centered novel. The sexual tension developed throughout the plot only adds to the other elements (mentioned above) which made it a truly enjoyable and memorable read.
I was thoroughly satisfied and I am looking forward to reading Ms. King’s sequel to House Key.