Adalyn Grace “Belladonna”

19-year-old Signa is an orphan and has been raised by a series of guardians who didn’t care for her but were more interested in the fortune that she was about to inherit. When her Aund dies she is sent to Thorn Grove estate, where her remaining relatives – the Hawthornes live. Head of the family is Elijah, whose wife Lillian died of a mysterious illness, and he is still mourning her. The family’s daughter Blythe is also seriously ill. Son Percy is desperate to take over the family business, but his father refuses to let him. Therefore, the estate is wrapped in grief, sadness, and tensions.

Signa used to live in poor conditions, but now she has a luxurious room, fancy dresses are sewn for her, and a governess begins to teach her etiquette and manners so she can enter high society. This has been Signa’s dream since childhood. But Signa is no ordinary girl. Even as a child, she discovered that she could see ghosts and spirits, her injuries healed mysteriously, and she wouldn’t die. When she eats belladonna berries, she can communicate with Death. Signia has hated Death all her life, because as soon as she was sent to another family, Death took someone away.

When Lillian’s restless spirit tells Signa that she didn’t die of an illness but was poisoned, Signa starts to investigate, and the secrets of the Hawthorne family begin to unravel. Signa also learns more about her own powers and becomes unexpectedly close to Death.

“Deliciously deadly” is said on the cover of this book and this is for sure a correct statement. The book has a gothic and gloomy atmosphere: an old mansion, ghosts, mysteries, poisonings, death, supernatural powers. At the same time, there are relationship dramas of the Hawthorne family and Signa’s own love story that is about to bloom. The book is not thoroughly dark, but also offers sensual descriptions and electrifying passion. Beautifully and smoothly written, it’s a delicious story that you just can’t put away. And if you liked the book, there is also a sequel, “Foxglove”. I can’t wait to read that one too.

London: Penguin Books, 2022

Adalyn Grace “Belladonna” in e-catalogue ESTER

Janela Tähepõld-Tammert

Librarian at Pääsküla Library

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