Summary: Katharine is sent by her domineering aunt and guardian to check on the estate of an uncle she has never known. His mental state is in question, and her aunt wants to seize the estate so that the inheritance will be received by her son. Katharine arrives ready to carry out her aunt’s wishes. However, she soon makes several surprising discoveries about her uncle, his estate, and herself that lead her to question her aunt’s plans. 

Thoughts: After hearing this author speak at a literary event months ago, I read the first chapter of The Dark Unwinding. Then, I got sidetracked by some other books (typical behavior) and finally got back to it last week. Once I read a little further, I was completely engrossed by this Victorian world. It’s written in an atmospheric gothic style and is full of intrigue, mystery, drama, and the most interesting characters! I fell in love with Uncle Tully (who seems to suffer from what we would know today as autism), the silent little Davy, and the handsome, brooding Lane. Also Katharine is a delight as she grows from dutiful, unnoticed girl to a keen, strong, lovely young lady. I am so glad I returned to this novel and eagerly await the sequel A Spark Unseen. 
Read The Dark Unwinding if you … 


  • appreciate the gothic tales of the Brontes or novels inspired by their writing 
  • enjoyed Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey 
  • like the Steampunk genre or might want to discover what it is!  This novel would be the perfect introduction to the genre’s blend of historical settings with scientific advancements. 
  • love an engrossing historical tale that sweeps you away to a completely different time and place
  • enjoy reading books by promising debut authors. Ms Cameron won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work. (Honestly, I didn’t know what this was until I heard The Dark Unwinding won it. But, it sounds impressive!! Now, I will be watching to see who wins each year.) 
** Be sure to read the Author’s Note to learn about the real Victorian estate that inspired the novel.