Page Count 320
Publication date April 2021
Publisher Harper Collins
Cat lives in Los Angeles, about as far away as she can get from her estranged twin sister El and No. 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where they grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.
But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to the grand old house, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. No. 36 Westeryk Road is still full of shadowy, hidden corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues all over the house: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…
A twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge,Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom.
Ever start reading a book and find yourself struggling to pick it back up? I’ve been fighting a slump all year and I really didn’t care for the beginning of Mirrorland. The imaginary and real worlds blend together mid sentence and I just wasn’t getting on with it.
I was a quarter into my Netgalley copy and after a week without reading it Dave invited me onto TheWriteReads tour so I forced myself to pick Mirrorland back up and I am SO GLAD.
I found Cat and Ross hard to like at the start and I seem to have read too many missing sisters in fiction lately but WOW does this story take a turn.
There’s a fun little map of Mirrorland in the front of this book and you’re going to need it, the imagination packed into the sisters’ world is mind blowing for two little girls. As you learn more and more about their lives and their mother you come to appreciate just how much they needed the escape.
Mirrorland gets darker and darker as you read on, you’ll be desperate for answers. Why did El and Cat fall out so catastrophically? What happened on THAT historical night? And what really happened to El? Everytime you think you’ve guessed it I guarantee you’ll be wrong.
I don’t provide trigger warnings in my reviews but for those who need them I’d advise you to look them up for Mirrorland before you go in, or feel free to drop me a message.
Mirrorland is told in first person POV by Cat via both past and present timelines punctuated by diary entries and emails.
The writing is easy to follow once you get into the rhythm of switching between reality and imagination, uncovering the truth alongside Cat had endeared me to her character by the end.
Mirrorland is an intense ride that I highly recommend, I will definitely be looking for more by Carole Johnstone in future.