|Digital List Price:||$4.99|
|Print List Price:||$15.00|
Save $12.01 (80%)
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Her Dark Inheritance (Willoughby Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- ASIN : B07813F3SQ
- Publisher : Inklings Publishing (March 17, 2018)
- Publication date : March 17, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 3602 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 381 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1944428259
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #384,200 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Willoughby, Minnesota is an idyllic small town in Middle America. It boasts one café, one motel, and a population of five-hundred-nine. But, there are more than small town secrets hiding in the shadows of the town square. Something lurks just out of sight—and out of mind—from the residents. A bloody history of accidents, violence, and murder plagues Willoughby and threatens the town even in the present.
In July 1982, someone brutally murdered three members of the Bergman family with an ax in their Willoughby home. For decades, town suspicion has fallen on the sole survivor of the bloody massacre: Caroline, the Bergman’s teenage daughter.
But Daphne Forrest knew her mother not as Caroline Bergman, but as Jane Downs-Forrest. It wasn’t until Jane’s death that Daphne found out that her mother was the suspected murderer that newspapers had dubbed The Minnesota Borden.
Daphne visits Willoughby for the first time, looking for answers to questions about the woman she thought she knew. She may not have grown up in Willoughby, but Daphne quickly finds that she shares a connection with the town that not even the residents can fathom. Willoughby wants to show her something, something that can save the town and, maybe, Daphne herself.
Thrust into memories of unfathomable violence and fear, Daphne must face her own mistakes and find a strength that her mother never had. If she wants to get out of Willoughby alive, she must face an evil that has stalked the small town since its founding.
Her Dark Inheritance follows in a glorious tradition of American ax murderers, but it’s far from the typical tale.
Meg Hafdahl creates characters real enough to climb off the page, including a monster that stalks you long after the novel’s last sentence. The town of Willoughby itself is as real as any character. Vividly described, it’s delightful and terrifying in equal measure. It embodies an abusive relationship that traps the residents in a situation where manipulation masquerades as protection and “this is for your own good” can be just as sinister as any threat. The story raises questions that strike to the core of all of us: What does it mean to be evil? What does it mean to be weak?
Hafdahl weaves an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue. Her brilliant narrative style keeps you guessing from beginning to end about the next shocking twist. Whether it’s the truth about the Bergman murders or Daphne’s ultimate fate, Hafdahl keeps you at her mercy through every page.
I haven’t read a book in one sitting in a long time, but I couldn’t put down Her Dark Inheritance. ‘One more chapter’ led to ‘one more chapter’ and ‘one more chapter’ after that. The book is labelled for Young Adults, but is just as gripping for adults. I recommend it whole-heartedly, especially for those who like to see the darker side of the American Dream.
I rated this 4 stars.
There was much I enjoyed about this opening novel of a trilogy: the author gave us a fully realized plot with no sudden cliffhanger to guarantee we would join her for the second installment, the characters were varied and authentic feeling, and I am a fan of strange towns. I removed one star because later in the story, there are some actions that felt hard to believe involving one of the protagonists; I explain this further below under a spoiler warning banner.
The protagonist Daphne is losing her mother to a brain tumor. As the cancer eats away at her mind and body, Daphne feels as if her mother is more a stranger than ever before; verbally, a dam has been toppled, and her mother shares things no daughter would be completely comfortable hearing. All that seems almost inconsequential to the largest confessions: Her mother’s family did not die in a car crash as Daphne had been told, but murdered. Her mother also was known by a different name, born in a different state, because of these murders she lived under another identity; on her deathbed she tells her daughter of these murders, and that she did not commit them, though others think that she did.
I can only imagine how I would feel in her shoes, having her mother’s identity and upbringing ripped away, changed, at the last minutes of her mother’s life. I could see myself reacting much as she did, wanting to connect with her mother’s past, the truthful past, by traveling to the town where her mother was raised, to try and learn something of her mother on her own. After her mother’s funeral, Daphne heads to Willoughby, Minnesota, hoping to find answers. You get the impression that she has been rather timid up to this, non-confrontational and easily stressed; I felt worried and proud for her equally as she began her travels.
If a town is small enough, closed off enough, there is no way to infiltrate invisibly. My fraternal grandparents lived on Lake Frankston in Texas for more than 50 years, the actual town was almost an hour down the road for groceries. When we visited, people knew; adults I had never seen would say hello using my name. If someone that no one knew showed up, that spread like wildfire to all the residents too, quicker than I would have thought possible before cell phones were really a thing. So reading about Daphne’s strangely familiar and comforting experiences with a small town population and mindset was very nostalgic; it’s still making me smile as I type this. She rents a room at the hotel in town, making acquaintance with the owners’ son Edwin, who has his own misgivings about Willoughby.
The house her mother lived in is owned by Doris, who is my favorite person in this book by far, and run as a tourist trap. Edwin helps introduce her around town to people, and ask questions; there seems to be plenty of tragedy to pull from the history of the small town of Willoughby. Daphne, Doris, and Edwin all seem to have their own special way to communicate with Willoughby as well, slowly putting together the pieces of a bloody and ragged puzzle; hopefully before it’s too late.
SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOIERSPOILER ONLY READ MORE IF YOU WANT TO KNOW TWO KIND OF SPOILERS WARNING SPOILS
The two actions involving Daphne that felt out of place for her character, and made me take off one star had to do with after she lost her purse in the water at the site of the flour mill explosion. She did not have her ID, and was described as seeming years younger looking than her actual age, but was able to order beer at a place. I just couldn’t imagine it. Then the next morning, she wanted to drive, again without her drivers license. We had learned not that long ago that she had killed a toddler while backing down her driveway as a teenager; she had not driven by choice since. I just found it too difficult to believe that she would have Edwin be extra careful helping her back the car up, but would be willing to drive without the proper ID. What if there was another accident, of any kind, and there were cops called?