The Keepers of Metsan Valo – Wendy Webb – ✨Review✨ 4/5 stars
Family drama. Nordic folklore. Mystical elements. Gothic aesthetics.
Anni Halla’s family home, Metsan Valo, sits on an island on Lake Superior. It was built by her great-grandparents and was the home of her recently deceased Mammo (grandmother). Since Anni’s childhood, Mammo told her the most enchanting stories about the forest edging the estate being full of spirits, demons and danger. About the folk that lived in the forest and in the water, that could harm you or help you, depending on their whim.
After her passing, Anni’s family are instructed to meet at the island estate for the reading of her grandmothers will; a family reunion of sorts.
Anni and her twin brother Theo, arrive first to greet their extended family who bring tension into the home. The twins opt to stay on the estate during their remaining time there. They both experience unexplainable, malevolent happenings. Life really spirals out of control after their mother’s home in town is broken in to, not once but twice, leading to (once again, unexplainable) accidents and disappearances thereafter. With the odd phenomena happening to her family, Anni remembers Mammo’s stories, and plunges headfirst reading about her families past, finding out who she is, and what needs to be done to stop the danger her family is in.
I loved the surreal, wonderfully atmospheric setting and how well the story encompasses and builds itself around Finnish folklore, which, interesting enough, is inspired by the authors own Finnish ancestry.
I’ve also read Daughters of the Lake, and have since wanted to read her backlist.
Do you have a favorite Wendy Webb book?
*Thanks to Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley for kindly providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.