Published: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.
Ms Whipple has created a complicated witchy mythos that is complete and well though out. There is a complete back story that is revealed in easily believable portions and the actions of the characters make sense. However I must add that if you are expecting something really dark then you might be disappointed. The writing, while interesting and compelling, is not gritty and seemed geared more to a slightly younger teen - perhaps the 12 - 16 year olds as opposed to the 16 and up. Now this didn't bother me at all, but it might others.
There was lots of mystery, great spells - I loved the opening of doors, or portals, from one location to another - great family dynamics and a neat love interest. House of Ivy and Sorrow was a real pleasure to read. I'm coming to the conclusion that I enjoy books more when I start reading with no pre-conceived expectations about them. That was the case with this new title by Natalie Whipple. The only thing I new was from the blurb when I requested it, and it sounded intriguing. I was right.