House of Sorrow: Legends of Madeira #BookReview and #NewBook from Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites

Hi everyone. Today, I have a book review from author and friend and Story Empire co-author, Joan Hall. I bought this short novella yesterday and read it in one sitting >>>

About the Book:


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Dream home or damned home?

Ruth Hazelton is over the moon when her husband Lee agrees with the nineteenth-century Victorian in Madeira, New Mexico, is the perfect home for them. While he starts his new job as police chief, she sets about unpacking and decorating.
But it’s not long before Ruth needs more. She becomes a fixture in the community, making time for everyone, volunteering, hosting events—she’s every bit the social butterfly her husband is not. Through her friendships, she learns several former residents of her home met with untimely deaths. If she were superstitious, she might fear a curse, but such nonsense doesn’t faze her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now, as the end of Ruth’s life draws near, she must find a way to convey her message and stop the cycle to prevent anyone else from suffering in the house of sorrow.

My Review:

The foreshadowing in this small novella is excellent. We meet Ruth in her dotage and get a partial back story, then the narrative returns to her younger days when she and her husband move into the Victorian house that called to her. At about 66 Kindle pages, this is a wonderfully tense but quick read. Here are a couple of lines that stood out for me …


‘Patches of white still lingered in shady areas. The snow would melt. But would her heart ever thaw?’


[I] didn’t choose what happened, but I can choose my attitude.’ 

The ending came way too soon for me, which shows what a great job the writer did of setting the scene for the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. I’m watching for release day, I can tell you. House of Sorrow gets five stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

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[…] My five star review for the sequel to this series is HERE. […]

D.L. Finn

Fantastic review:) I was immediately pulled in and can’t wait for the first book to be released!

Joan Hall

Thank you, Denise. Working hard to get that novel released in early May.

John Howell

Wow, you sure are quick, Harmony. Thank yo for sharing your terrific review. Congratulations to Joan.

Joan Hall

Thank you, John. I loved Harmony’s review.

CS Boyack

Woo Hoo! Wonderful news for Joan.

Joan Hall

Thanks, Craig. Loved Harmony’s review

Gwen M Plano

What a great review! Congratulations, Joan. It’s on my kindle, and I’m looking forward to the read. I love your cover. Brilliant!! 😊

Joan Hall

I loved Harmony’s review. Hope you enjoy the book. And thanks for the compliment about the cover.

Mae Clair

Great review for Joan’s House of Sorrow. I read it last night and loved it. Posted my review today on social sites, but it will be until next Tuesday for my blog. I think she has a winner with this series!

Joan Hall

I’m so glad you liked the book and thanks for the review!

Marcia Meara

Just downloaded this yesterday and can’t wait to read it. It’s next up on my virtual TBR pile! Great review, Harmony, and congratulations, Joan! Sounds like you’ve got a real winner here. 😊

Joan Hall

I hope you enjoy it, Marcia!

Staci Troilo

I was captivated, too, Harmony. She packed quite a bit into a few pages. I can’t wait for the novel!

Great review.

Joan Hall

Thanks, Staci! I’m so glad you liked it!

Joan Hall

Thank you for your lovely review, Harmony. I’m delighted you liked the story.

Priscilla Bettis

I read this one and really enjoyed it. The attic thing near the end made me want to read the next book in the series (the first book, actually, since House of Sorrow is a prequel) right away.

Joan Hall

Thank you, Priscilla. I hope I do that scene justice in the novel. 🙂