ABOUT THE BOOK
Some secrets can never be concealed . . .
Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn’t long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn’t quite right about this place . . .
Maude, furious about being brought here against her will, soon finds herself beguiled by the house’s strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object.
As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy – and Maude spellbound. But these women – and the women that surround them – are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head . . .
It seemed like the perfect book for me when I was staying in Scarborough for a short break, and I went to Whitby for the day. I downloaded the book and strolled through the streets and Abbey listening to this strange story.
It had been seven years since Nell’s father had passed away, which was the last time she had been back to Whitby. She had received an invitation from a relative inviting the family to a forthcoming family reunion party. As soon as they arrived at the cottage, it felt like it was a big mistake. The place was big enough to house fourteen guests, and there was only Nell, her husband Chris and his daughter Maude, who at twelve was having a tough time adjusting to her mum’s partner and the addition of a baby. She wasn’t going to make the holiday easy for anyone.
The holiday home sat among other properties high on a hill overlooking Whitby and felt daunting rather than having character. There was a strange smell to the place too. When one of the neighbours bobs in, she tells Nell that they used to go to school together, but Nell has difficulty remembering the woman. Nell was now a designer of sought after jewellery. Then Chris has to leave to deal with something in the gallery they own. Things go downhill rapidly after Nell and Maude find a hiding place in the cottage with a disturbing and unusual object.
Oh my, this seemed anything but a relaxing getaway for the family. The author adds subtle changes that are happening, and these steadily increase. It seems that everyone has their secrets as well as house keeping them. The story snowballs and grows with secrets of the past, desperation and folklore. Witchy happenings and beliefs, superstitions and desire. A great October read.
I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Mason was born and brought up in Whitby, North Yorkshire. She studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, where she began writing by devising and directing plays. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies; The Wayward Girls is her first novel.