Iris Chapel and her five elegant sisters, all of them heiresses to the Chapel firearms fortune, live cloistered in a lavish Victorian mansion. They long to escape the eerie fairy tale of their childhood and move forward into the modern world, but for young women in 1950s Connecticut, the only way out is through marriage. Yet it soon becomes clear that for the Chapel sisters, marriage equals death. When the eldest sister walks down the aisle, tragedy strikes. The bride dies mysteriously the very next day, leaving her family and the town in shock. But this is just the beginning of a chain of disasters that will make each woman wonder whether true love will kill her, too. Only Iris, the second-youngest, finds a way to escape—but can she outrun the family curse forever?
With The Cherry Robbers, Walker has concocted another slyly subversive feminist fable, this time in the form of a grief-laced gothic thriller that takes on weighty topics such as marriage, women’s health and generational trauma ... Exquisitely tense and satisfyingly spooky, The Cherry Robbers masterfully blends psychological and supernatural horror. In sensual yet spritely prose, Walker conducts a darkly erotic exploration of female desire, duty and destiny via an ensemble of nuanced female characters, each with distinct personalities and rich inner lives. Readers know the grisly fate that awaits the Chapel girls, but Walker still manages to maintain a high degree of suspense and intrigue that will keep readers frantically flipping pages ... For fans of Diane Setterfield and Shirley Jackson, as well as readers who relish multilayered, thought-provoking family sagas, The Cherry Robbers is not to be missed.
Walker’s take on the classic Gothic tale fairly shimmers, titillating with a heady concoction of terror and desire, frothy with fever-pitched emotions, and dark with smothering melancholy and macabre spectres.
Delightfully eerie ... A mix of bildungsroman and ghost story, the narrative gains strength as it illuminates its characters’ power of intuition, especially when they’re not afraid to use it. This uncanny tale of dark origins shines brightly