In The Dead Summer by Helen Moorhouse we meet Martha who divorced her cheating husband, sold the house in London they shared, quit the advertising job she despised, packed her own and her six moth old daughter’s bags and moved to start a new life in an isolated cottage in the countryside. She was hoping to finally write a book she always wanted to. She came across the picturesque Hawthorn Cottage when while browsing rental properties on the Internet. The farmer’s cottage was abandoned for years and only recently renovated by its new owner Rob Mountford. She fell in love with the place and booked it for the next six months.
After the first night in the new place Martha already questioned her decision. She wondered if they would be alright in such a remote location. She was getting an uneasy feeling about the house. The lights on the baby monitor spiked all the way to red and she heard a loud noise, but found her daughter Ruby peacefully asleep. It left her puzzled. With the first light of the sunny morning, all her fears of the previous night disappeared. She felt a bit silly that she let her imagination carry her away.
Still there were things that bugged her. Why, she wondered, did the postman refuse to drop her mail to the cottage and kept leaving it all the way down the road? Why did the local crazy old lady keep referring to the cottage as the Eyrie Farm? Was there something about the place that she didn’t know? It seemed perfect during the day. Her new friend Mary convinced her she shouldn’t be listening to the made up spooky tales.
Another story plot runs parallel in the book. Back in the 50’s two young Irish women were sent to the Eyrie Farm, which was owned by the girls’ father’s friend at the time. Their parents planned for them to stay there till the older of the two sisters, Marion gave birth to her child. The baby was then meant to be put into adoption and they could return home with their secret unraveled.
Marion made the stay a real hardship for her younger sibling Lily. Lily was eager to make Marion as comfortable as possible in her condition, but the pregnant young woman hated the place and the fact that she was pregnant. She didn’t seem to care much about anything and anybody, not even her unborn child.
It was a spooky tale that gripped right from the start and kept you glued to the pages till the very end. Full of interesting characters. Pragmatic Will and sensitive Gabriel introduced to Martha’s by her old friend Sue, who send them to her rescue. Why? Find out for yourself. I don’t think I have come across such a ghostly kind of a thriller before, but I enjoyed reading it. If you like scary stories, you will not be disappointed. 3 pumpkins, broom sticks or candle wicks.
Pumpkins, broom sticks or candle wicks rating
– one of the best books I read
– good read
– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
– don’t waste your time