Wendy Webb was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in political science and minored in French and history. After college, she spent some time living in France with two lifelong friends, and when she returned to the States, she was fortunate enough to get an internship with a congressman in Washington, D.C., and later a job with a Minnesota senator.
Synopsis: After a devastating loss, Brynn Wilder escapes to Wharton, a tourist town on Lake Superior, to reset. Checking into a quaint boardinghouse for the summer, she hopes to put her life into perspective. In her fellow lodgers, she finds a friendly company of strangers: the frail Alice, cared for by a married couple with a heartbreaking story of their own; LuAnn, the eccentric and lovable owner of the inn; and Dominic, an unsettlingly handsome man inked from head to toe in mesmerizing tattoos.
But in this inviting refuge, where a century of souls has passed, a mystery begins to swirl. Alice knows things about Brynn, about all of them, that she shouldn’t.
Bad dreams and night whispers lure Brynn to a shuttered room at the end of the hall, a room still heavy with a recent death. And now she’s become irresistibly drawn to Dominic—even in the shadow of rumors that wherever he goes, suspicious death follows.
In this chilling season of love, transformation, and fear, something is calling for Brynn. To settle her past, she may have no choice but to answer.
Expect Nothing When You Pick Up a Book By a New-To-You Author
That’s what I’ve come to learn in all my years – all my decades – of reading. There are a handful of authors I’ve enjoyed since childhood, like Cornelia Funke, Madeline L’Engle, Jeanne DuPrau and Frank Peretti. However, I’ve only heard of Wendy Webb in passing, and this is the first story by her that I’ve picked up.
This isn’t part of the review, but I’ve found lots of duds when it comes to books on Kindle Unlimited, which is where I came across The Haunting of Brynn Wilder. I tend to stay away from book Twitter because the information there can be overwhelming, so I had no idea how popular this title was. Well, is. So I thought I’d give this modern novel a try.
Thoughts As I Read
While I am not a fan of past tense writing, the writing itself cannot be faulted. Even with the long paragraphs. Unfortunately, the first few pages didn’t grab me, though they did explain why the female lead needed this change. Some of the information provided at the beginning, the background info, is a bit redundant when it’s both in the exposition and when a character later says the same things.
This story comes with a living situation too good to be true. I would have loved to stay in a room like the one described for Brynn. The author pays homage to historical moments, which I appreciated. Ms. Webb does a very good job when it comes to description.
The first signs of something not quite right are hinted within the first few pages. I hate when a story promises suspense and it takes two or more chapters to even get there. So for it to be right near the beginning is a huge plus. This seemingly oddball group of characters do play off each other very well. The Haunting of Brynn Wilder does have LGBTQ characters, so if that’s not for you, then this book won’t be your cup of tea.
“It was an odd disconnect. The building itself had a much older feel to it, as though the century-ago happenings inside of it still hung in the air, just out of reach. And yet I was standing in what looked like an old-fashioned diner.”
“A century of souls inhabiting a place will leave an imprint that lingers long after they’re gone.”
“It had the same feel as the dining room in a way – plucked from elsewhere in time and set into the four walls of this seemingly timeless boardinghouse.”
As one who always dreams of odd feeling houses and places, I really do like the idea for this book’s setting. Seriously – I have begun an ongoing note on my phone every time I dream of some crazy setting that keeps morphing into something else. And that’s the feel I get from The Haunting of Brynn Wilder.
Even though I am only fifty pages into this tale, I am still on the fence about sticking with it. Modern tales really don’t pull me in; I guess it’s because I’d rather read about a different time period to take my brain away from this crazy era we live in. But with this story’s rather historical setting with a 2022 feel, I think I can actually get on board.