If you’re looking for the perfect spooky book to curl up with as a snowstorm swirls outside, look no further. Dark Flowers is the perfect dark version of a fairy-tale: complete with a brutal headmistress, orphans in distress, a psychiatric hospital and not-so-nice fairies.
The main character is Eliza, who, along with her friend Millie, lives at St. Agatha’s School for Girls, a depressing orphanage run by a sadistic headmistress. Eliza vows not only to escape through the Louisiana swamps that surround the grounds, but bring Millie with her. But their attempt is thwarted when the girls encounter alluring fairies, who invite them to share in their realm. But Eliza has a bad feeling about them. And based on what happens next, she was right.
This book kept me turning pages until I hit the end. I couldn’t wait to see what happened. I don’t want to give away too many details, because the fun is in reading the twists yourself, but as the girls get closer to uncovering the secrets of the swamp fairies, things get scary – fast.
And while the story uses some tried-and-true techniques to keep the readers on their toes – dreams, whispered voices, scary children – the story feels fresh and new. It never at any point feels tired or reductive. That’s what makes it so great; I had no idea what was going to come next or how it was going to work out.
The ending is also satisfying, wrapping things up nicely, answering all the major questions. But it’s definitely got this open-ended feeling, like in the movie Psycho, where you are left wondering, “Oh God, what’s next?!”
I’m really trying not to give anything away because it really is that good, there’s a new shock around every turn and you’ll stay up all night finishing it. You won’t regret picking this one up.