Review: The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sometimes when you start reading a book, you think you know what you’re getting. That’s the way I was with this one – and my assumptions were a bit blown out of the water! Instead of a normal historical romance, Michelle Griep has written a Gothic romance novel that’s Christian fiction. Needless to say, this was quite intriguing.

Characters: Maggie had to be my favorite character of the two MCs. As an opera singer, she definitely piqued my interest, because yay for musicians in books! She ended up not talking much about opera and or/singing, but the few times it came up, there were some really lovely thoughts and sentiments connected to the wonders of music. Definitely appreciated, because music is one of God’s great gifts! Beyond her musical talent, Maggie had a lot of pluck, and I appreciated that about her. However, she did have her weaknesses, and she wasn’t too intent on being “strong” to the point of refusing help. She definitely had a nice balance in her character, and I loved that! Oliver was interesting. It took me a bit to figure out what he was like, and by the middle of the book, I think I gained a good grasp on his character. He wasn’t really outstanding, but he was a solid character with some flaws – and he had a nice arc by the end! I would’ve liked to see his anger problems be resolved a little bit more, but I could tell he was heading in the right direction. As for the side characters … I loved Oliver’s father! I won’t give any spoilers, but I really enjoyed how everything ended between Oliver and his dad. As for the villains, though. Yikes. They were a tad creepy for me. I know this is all Gothic and everything, but that beetle dude (I’m being serious here; he was always described as a beetle) was downright creepy. Ugh. As for Barrow, I had a lot of sympathy for him, and his grouchiness was kind of humorous. His arc by the end of the story was much-needed!

Settings/Plot/Writing Style: Michelle Griep has the whole cloudy, dark, Gothic style down perfectly. Whether Maggie and Oliver were in a lonely house on the moor, in Dartmoor Prison, or in a townhouse, the settings were realistic and so fitting. The plot was a little bit confusing for me (probably because I was tired when I read part of this!), but the intrigue and adventures provided plenty of action and suspense. And of course, the writing was very well-done. Griep’s use of descriptive verbs was really nice, but it wasn’t overdone, and her writing flowed easily.

Moral/Theme: This was nicely done. I really enjoyed Oliver and Maggie’s conversations about justice and having a balance view of it. It was lovely to see Maggie tell Oliver how God was just and compassionate through Christ – such an important truth to hold before our eyes! The other side of the story that focused on forgiveness was also very touching, and such a wonderful reminder of the love of our Heavenly Father.

Overall, I would recommend this book to those of you who like historical fiction. Yeah, it’s a little different than most historical fiction – and watch out, those villains are creepy – but this book was a nice change from average historical fiction. I’ll be checking out more of Michelle Griep’s books in the future!

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