A Haunting Tale of Gothic Grief: Blog Tour-‘From Daylight to Madness’ by Jennifer Gordon

Woot! My first time hosting for a blog tour! (Here’s hoping I do this right)

Y’all I am all about this blog tour stuff. You know you get to read free books this way? I need to just compile a list of all the ways to get free books, because I know all the tricks.

So I was given arcs of both books in Jennifer Gordon’s The Hotel series and I’ll be reviewing the first book in the series ‘From Daylight to Madness.’

Let’s get the basics out of the way, then we can dig into my thoughts.

The blurb:

The latest book from the critically acclaimed author of Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent; Jennifer Anne Gordon.
On an almost uninhabitable rocky island off the coast of Maine, a Hotel looms over the shore, an ever-present gray lady that stands strong like a guard, keeping watch. For many who come here, this island is a sanctuary and a betrayal.
This is a place where memories linger like ghosts, and the ephemeral nature of time begins to peel away …like the sanity of all who have been unlucky enough to step foot on its shore.
In the late spring of 1873, Isabelle gave birth to her son Oscar, he cried for three startling minutes, and then went silent. During the months that follow, Isabelle is drugged and lulled into an almost hallucinatory world of grief and fear. Her life begins to feel as though it exists in a terrifying new reality separated from those around her …
When her grieving begins to make her husband, Henry, uncomfortable, he and his mother conspire to send Isabelle away to a Summer Hotel on Dagger Island, where she can rest and heal. While they are adamant that the hotel is not an asylum and that Isabelle will be able to return eventually to her home, Isabelle understands in her heart that it is all a lie. That perhaps, everything about being a woman in this time, may have always been a lie.
Her family has lied to her, and she has lied to herself.
The Hotel, of course, is not what it seems, and the foreboding Dagger Island begins to feel more like a prison than a retreat. Isabelle hears relentless sounds coming from the attic above her room, and the ever-present cries of small children scream in her head almost constantly. Are they hallucinations, or are they connected to the small cemetery she found, filled with the fresh dirt of little graves, the brokenhearted reminders of people that no one believes ever existed?
She meets a fellow guest at the Hotel, a young, enigmatic, and deeply damaged priest, named Francis.
Together they teeter on the edges of reality and try desperately to become free from the fates that their pasts have bound them to.
From Daylight to Madness is a poetic, and haunting Gothic Fiction novel that is both profoundly unsettling and darkly romantic. 

4 of these guys!

This book is a solid four stars. The writing really is beautiful. It truly is “haunting” as everyone says. It’s third-person, but this is deep third and it works so well. This is more of a realistic and gritty horror than a supernatural horror. The realism, along with the deep third creates this sense of drowning in the main characters’ thoughts.

Isabelle exists in a fugue state of laudanum and grief. She is constantly plagued by the sounds of her dead child crying. It was so easy to lose myself in this character. The book is atmospheric, dark, twisty, and utterly beautiful in its vivid portrayal of grief. I’ve always loved that horror is a genre with tropes that rely so much on the female experience-experiences such as childbirth, pregnancy, and post-partum (The Yellow Wallpaper, anyone?). Gordon continues in that tradition and she does it with such skill. The story starts off with abject horror, as Isabelle is in the throes of childbirth. She hears three minutes of crying, and then….nothing. The grief overwhelms her and it is this grief that is the stage for the horror story to play out on.

My only major issue with this book was the tense changes. I know this was an arc, but I’d say changes between past and present tense go beyond grammatical errors and point to a fundamental problem with the writing itself. The writing IS still beautiful, but the moving between past and present tense was incredibly distracting and pulled me out of the story every time. At one point, I started to think maybe the tense changes were intentional. Some of the changes to present tense seemed to happen when Isabelle was heavily drugged, but I realized this wasn’t consistent throughout the story. Sometimes she was drugged and the tense didn’t change. Other times the tense would change mid-sentence for seemingly no reason. This is a wonderful book, but if those tense changes aren’t taken care of then the book just isn’t ready to be published. I hate to see such a beautiful story ruined by something that could be easily fixed.

Other than that, this book has some complex and poignant themes that were interesting in a horror novel. I believe (later in the novel) the author intentionally references The Yellow Wallpaper and Gaslight. The references were clever and you can see this author knows her genre really well.

Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic horror that is more about the horrors of daily, grueling, crushing life, than about jump scares or ghosts.

JENNIFER ANNE GORDON is a professional ballroom dancer and choreographer by day, and a curly haired neurotic writer by night. She is an actor, a traveler, a photographer, a lover of Gothic Horror, and a dog mom. She lives in the wilds of New Hampshire with her partner on and off the dance floor. Her novels include the Kindle Award for Horror 2020 Winning book, Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent, as well as the historical Gothic novel From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel #1) as well as When The Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel #2). She also has a published collection of her artwork, titled “Victoriana {mixed media art of jennifer anne gordon}. 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads 

Author Links

Website: https://www.jenniferannegordon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferAnneGordonAuthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferAnneGo5

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifergenevievegordon

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-anne-gordon  

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Gordon/e/B0854PYTXX

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20063036.Jennifer_Gordon

I really did enjoy reading this arc more than any other arc I’ve ever received. I had a hard time putting it down and finished it really quickly. For a chilling but romantic dark tale, I highly recommend The Hotel series.

Book One:

**Only .99 cents!!**

Goodreads * Amazon 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54757825-from-daylight-to-madness

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DKLN2WC

And the sequel:

When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk 

The Hotel Book 2 

Critically acclaimed Author Jennifer Anne Gordon’s conclusion to The Hotel Series, with the sequel to From Daylight to Madness.

In one startling moment in the late summer of 1873 a tragedy fell like summer sun on the gray jagged shores of Dagger Island. Francis loses everything he thought his life was, and what it could have become. His heart breaks and his feet run, all the way back to his childhood home, he reaches for a past that may not exist.
He is there, in the little house in Dorchester Neck. A place haunted with missing time. He feels the comfort from walls that lean in too close, but then …He feels the trauma that ripped his life in two and in a blink of an eye he is back at the hotel. He can feel the memories fade as the cold fingers of winter wrap around him. He does not know how he got there, or indeed if he ever left.
Francis has lived his whole life veiled in the memories that are more alive than his present. The current days fade away before he can hold on to him. Everything he was or thought he could have been is gone. He realizes he may be a monster, and the person he has fallen in love with may not even exist. Francis holds onto the memories he thinks are real …until he is almost consumed by them.
Francis is isolated in a world of mesmerism, with his tormentor and healer Doctor Hughes.
Francis is a guest in this hotel with his past, his present, and who he believes to be his future. Isabelle. His world is a labyrinth … he feels her hand in his. The fingers intertwine and there is nothing left but her …
She is a memory, a ghost, and a hallucination.
He can almost remember the moment when his father’s glass shattered into his face…he can almost remember who he was before he was broken in two.
He can almost remember…
He can almost…
He can…

Goodreads * Amazon 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55919537-when-the-sleeping-dead-still-talk

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L5PPXNB


An autographed copy of the novel Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent (finalist for the kindle awards for horror 2020), An autographed copy of my art book “Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Anne Gordon” and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Okay everyone! That is it for my first hosting of a blog tour! Did I convince you to check this book out? Let me know in the comments 🙂

3 thoughts on “A Haunting Tale of Gothic Grief: Blog Tour-‘From Daylight to Madness’ by Jennifer Gordon

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