I am getting a little fed up with the winter now, but that’s how I usually feel come February, Christmas long gone, no snow and still a month or so of the rainy, damp and windy weather ahead. Are you looking for something to read to pass the time? It was a paper back I opted for this time around. Hard to resist for under 4 euro, ‘’The Shadow Year’’ by Hannah Richell.
Lila is looking for an escape. She is grieving her miscarried baby. Her marriage doesn’t seem to be handling the strain it has been put under. She is not coping with the loss and she doesn’t welcome her husband’s constant efforts to make her feel better. She just wants to be on her own. She is far from being pleased that her mother has been called for help. The unexpected and mysteriously anonymous gift of the land and a cottage in the middle of nowhere seems to be what she is looking for, but is the remote and isolated location a good place for her to be right now?
Lila cannot remember the events that led to her miscarriage. Her mother found her at the bottom of the stairs, but everything shortly before, and the fall itself has been errased from her memory. She is tossing and turning at night, the lost memories trying to surface. She is starting to believe that she wasn’t alone just before her accident, but who was with her and why have they left her unconcious?
The project of restoring the old cottage, that she takes on herself, gives her a new purpose. Her mother and husband don’t approve. It is a cold winter in full swing and the thought of her being there by herself doesn’t put them at ease. While Lila is trying to make the abbandoned place habitable, she wonders what is the meaning of the strange drawings on the walls in one of the rooms? Is the noise that wakes her up at night just a creation of her feverish mind? Who were the previous owners and what has happened to them?
We, as readers get to see who the previous occupants were. Charismatic and controlling Simon, shy and secretly fancying him Kat, easygoing couple Carla and Mac, practical Ben and Kat’s carefree sister Fraya. Handful of friends who one day decided to move into the cottage, attracted by the idea of selfsustainability, of living in a desolated place, separated from the rest of the word and its modern commodities. A decision that will change all their lives forever.
Will Lila figure out who used to live in the house and what has happened to them? Why have they abbandoned the place so abruptly leaving unwashed cutlery and other belongings behind? Is there more to know? What is their connection to Lila? Why was she given a key to the house and by whom?
The story plot is gripping and well thought through, suspenseful, full of surprises and twists, dark and even shocking in places – well written. A good read indeed, deserving 3 feathers, scarfs or hats.
Feathers, scarfs or hats rating
– one of the best books I read
– good read
– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
– don’t waste your time