These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall

Published on October 20, 2022

These Fleeting Shadows Book Cover. A dark colored mansion is framed by ominous tree branches. The sky is a dark blue, and there is a girl with a blurred face in front of the mansion. Text on the cover is pink and white.

Reviewed by Jayde Valosin

Helen Vaughan didn't really know her grandfather, but she knows her mother should return home to Harrowstone Hall to attend his funeral, for closure. Despite living there as a child, Helen doesn’t remember anything about Harrow, aside from leaving in a hurry with her mother when she was very young. Upon their return, it's clear they must have been running from something- Harrow is arranged like a maze and has an unsettling energy that Helen doesn't love. This is unfortunate, as Helen was named in her grandfather's will. If she can last one year in Harrow without leaving, she will become the owner of the house and possessor of an unspeakable fortune. As time passes, things become stranger and more sinister. Helen will need the help of her cousins, Desmond and Celia, as well as the unusual girl they call the Harrow Witch if she has any hope of staying in the house for a year- or leaving it alive.

These Fleeting Shadows is not your typical "haunted house" story. A point is made early on in the book to remind Helen- and readers- that there are no ghosts at Harrow. Readers will be eager to read and find out how this can be true when Harrow is so very obviously haunted. Even if you don't usually find books to be too scary, the atmosphere that Marshall builds will have you looking over your shoulder as you read through. There are moments where Helen's narration becomes disjointed or purposefully vague, which I found added to the creepiness of the story and forced me to keep turning the page. A sweet romance doesn't add too much to the plot but does help to keep the book from becoming too dark.

With a twist ending that will make you want to reread as soon as you finish the book, These Fleeting Shadows is the perfect unconventional spooky read for the Halloween season.


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