ARC Book Review: Yesternight by Cat Winters
ashley | I start every Cat Winters review praising Cat Winters. This review will be no different. This woman never ceases to awe and amaze me with the stories she creates and the way she tells them. Every book takes a relatively accepted but kind of obscure concept – like hypnotism, communicating with spirits, or in the case of Yesternight, past lives, and turns it into the foundation for a very magical story full of rich characters and eerie mysteries. What is even more amazing is Winters seems to pump out a book every year and each one is as strong as the last. I am endlessly smitten with everything she does, Yesternight included.
I loved this book right from the start. Again, Winters takes an interesting concept and builds a beautiful story around it, full of complex and somewhat broken characters, but characters who are real and relatable. I liked Alice a lot, I thought she played a great role in this story; caring and doting child psychologist wanting to genuinely help her subject, but also driven by her own curiosity about her past, which seems to have a lot of similarities with the child’s.
Winters drew us along in a few different directions, which I appreciated because any in tune reader would have come to similar conclusions and the fact that Winters explores them and shuts them down makes me feel like we are having an actual conversation about the book while I’m reading it.
There was a whole other element to this story than the supernatural-ish reincarnation aspect. There was a heavy focus on how men treated women, or more specifically how women who took pleasure in sex were poorly viewed. While I appreciate that messaging a lot and appreciated how this created a whole other layer for Alice’s personality, I didn’t feel like it totally meshed with the rest of the story. Or I thought it could have ended up being a much larger key for how certain things turned in the end. In fairness, it was a part of the ending, but not in the sense that felt like a natural fit for me.
Towards the end, the story escalated quickly. I was on the edge of my seat through most of this, tearing page after page anxious to see what would be revealed in the end when Alice finally sets out to discover her own past. But I have to say I was a bit startled and perhaps disappointed with the turn of events when I finally did reach that end point. I liked the element of surprise, I’m always grateful when I can’t see the end coming, but there was just something about it that wasn’t wholly satisfying for me. It fit well enough with the rest of the story but I guess I was expecting more of a mind-blowing, coming together of everything kind of conclusion and this felt a bit less than that.
I’m likely overly picky because I was such a huge fan of Winters’ other books. I did like this more than the Uninvited, which funny enough I didn’t much enjoy until the end, as opposed to this one where I loved it up until the end, so there’s that. But even so, Winters has a beautiful way with her words and this story really did draw me in strongly from the very start.
today! october 4, 2016
copy provided for review by