This Gothic Read Will Take Spooky Season by Storm

The woods are stirring again. . . . 

Lucia and her sisters grew up on the edge of Mockbeggar Woods. They knew it well—its danger, but also its beauty. As a lonely teenager, Kate was drawn to these sisters, who were unlike anyone she’d ever met. But when they brought her into the woods, something dark was awakened, and Kate has never been able to escape the terrible truth of what happened there. 

Chloe has been planning her dream wedding for months. She has the dress, the flowers, and the perfect venue: Small Angels, a charming old church set alongside dense, green woods in the village that her fiancé, Sam, and his sister, Kate, grew up in. But days before the ceremony, Chloe starts to learn of unsettling stories about Small Angels and Mockbeggar Woods. And worse, she begins to see, smell, and hear things that couldn’t possibly be real. 

Now, Kate is returning home for the first time in years—for Sam and Chloe’s wedding. But the woods are stirring again, and Kate must reconnect with Lucia, her first love, to protect Chloe, the village, and herself. An unforgettable novel about the memories that hold us back and those that show us the way forward, this is storytelling at its most magical. Enter Small Angels, if you dare.

Amazon Synopsis



Spooky Rating


Very tame, with mild ghostly elements throughout

What I Loved

  • The sentimental gothic nature of the prose
  • The alternating narratives
  • The eerie and unsettling setting

What Was Challenging

  • It was often difficult to keep up with the alternating narratives and characters, which led to confusion
  • The story was slow and hard to get through at times
  • I found it hard to connect to many of the characters

Quick Take

Small Angels is an eerie gothic novel that is reminiscent of the classics. Peppered with spooky elements throughout, it is the perfect Halloween read!

Tell Me More

Small Angels by Lauren Owen is a gothic fiction that features Victorian prose reminiscent of the classics. The story follows Lucia and her sisters who live on the outskirts of the Mockbeggar Woods. Kate, a lonely teenager, found herself drawn to the sisters, but when they took Kate to the woods something sinister was awakened and Kate has been haunted ever since.

In present time, Kate is returning to attend the wedding of Sam and Chloe at Small Angels, but she must come face to face with the darkness that has haunted her ever since she entered the Mockbeggar Woods. The story slowly reveals to the reader what Kate experienced in the woods previously, while continuing to keep secrets to keep the reader guessing.

Small Angels is a one-of-a-kind gothic tale that captivated me as a reader, but I also found it difficult to get through due to the heaviness of the writing. The story itself was unique and eerie, but it took a lot of concentration to get through the writing. It was difficult to keep track of the characters and narrators throughout the story, and I found myself having to re-read certain chapters and passages to try and grasp the plot. At times it felt like the author was trying too hard to keep up with the Victorian prose that the story became a little lost. While I enjoyed the spooky elements and the eeriness of the setting and the character, it did feel like the author was trying too hard. The imagination that she put into the story was magnificent, and I would have preferred if she just let the story flow rather than trying too hard to stick to such a dense form of writing.

However, the uniqueness of the plot and setting did make for an excellent spooky season read. It is because of this that I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a lighter horror novel to read this Halloween.

If you are a fan of such gothic classics as Dracula, Jane Eyre, or Wuthering Heights, then you are going to absolutely love Small Angels. Go into it without knowing too much about the plot, and you will be in for a surprise. It is surely a one of a kind read that will take you away.

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