3 1/2 stars. I was expecting this book to be much creepier. While I liked reading about the different events that took place as Lucy grew up, I felt like the story dragged and meandered too much before getting back to the mystery.
I think the main thing that bothers me about this book is that... Lucy's mother has a complete change in behavior towards her that I didn't find to be consistent with her character from the beginning of the book. I get that Lucy's mother had some hatred towards her husband and sister, but why would she suddenly start acting so differently towards Lucy? She always acted as though she loved and cared for her before everything else happened. It just didn't make since to me. It seemed like the author twisted her character to fit the story in order to keep us guessing. Ultimately I was disappointed in the ending. Part of me wishes it had been her aunt and not her mother. While part of me also feels like that would have been too predictable. I also thought that Lucy's whole reaction from the time she confronts her mother to the time she tells of her mother and step father being hanged was lacking in emotion other than anger. Regardless of what her mother had done, I think she would have still been very emotional in other ways over it all. I mean more than once in the book Lucy talks about how she loved her mother so much and how horrible it would be to lose her. Well she did, even though she wasn't the person she thought she was, it still would have hurt, and the deception and actions of her mother would only have made it hurt more. I also couldn't understand why Lucy could get so angry with her mother but be so forgiving of her Aunt Helen. Sure she didn't murder anyone, but she still did some pretty bad things that helped to perpetuate the ruin of her family. In the end she even names her first child after her aunt? It just didn't make sense. Even with all of that being said, I did really enjoy the story and I had a hard time putting it down. I just had a hard time finding it believable.
As for the things I enjoyed about the book...there was the sweet romance between Lucy and Kit, the fact that the book did keep me guessing, the time period that I love reading about, and the gorgeous cover.