Last month I finished listening to the audio book The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware and I mentioned it in my August 2018 Favorites. Now I wanted to write a more in-depth review of the book.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway is about Hal Westaway a 21-year-old trying to make it on her own after her mother’s death. One day Hal receives an inheritance letter stating her grandmother Hester Westaway passed away, but Hal’s grandmother died 20 years earlier. Hal pretends to be the long-lost granddaughter to receive the inheritance and finally have some financial security she desperately needs. Hal is a likable character because she is doing everything she can to make it on her own. She does not have any family or friends to fall back on it so I admire her bravery. The rest of the Westaway family as well as Hester’s housekeeper Mrs. Warren are well-developed and there is not too many characters to keep track of. It is also not overwhelming when Hal first meets the family at Hester’s funeral. One thing I loved about the audio book is the narrator changed her voice to match all the characters including the men and children, which made listening to the book much more enjoyable. The plot itself is interesting, but it is slow-building since the main focus is on will Hal successfully get away with the inheritance money and the family drama involved with the will. I also loved the setting of Brighton, where Hal lives, and Cornwall, the location of Hester’s funeral and her estate Trepassen House. Trepassen House is especially creepy and the inclusion of the One for Sorrow nursery rhyme in connection to the magpies at the estate makes it even creepier. Another element that was included in the story was tarot readings since Hal is a tarot reader on Brighton Pier. The tarot readings added depth to the story, and it was a unique way incorporating symbolism. I did not expect the ending, but it was a good ending that answered the big questions, but left me wondering what will happen next.
Overall, I would recommend The Death of Mrs. Westaway if you like mysteries, thrillers, and family dramas or you have read one of Ruth Ware’s previous books.
$20.07 at Book Depository
Have you read any of Ruth Ware’s books?