Saturday, 29 October 2016

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

Black Rabbit Hall
By Eve Chase
Published by Penguin (16 June 2016)
ISBN: 978-1405919326

Publisher's description
One golden family. One fateful summer. Four lives changed forever.
Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family's country estate where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one stormy evening in 1968, it does.
The idyllic world of the four Alton children is shattered. Fiercely bonded by the tragic events, they grow up fast. But when a glamorous stranger arrives, these loyalties are tested. Forbidden passions simmer. And another catastrophe looms...

Decades later, Lorna and her fiancé wind their way through the countryside searching for a wedding venue. Lorna is drawn to a beautiful crumbling old house she hazily remembers from her childhood, feels a bond she does not understand. When she finds a disturbing message carved into an old oak tree by one of the Alton children, she begins to realise that Black Rabbit Hall's secret history is as dark and tangled as its woods, and that, much like her own past, it must be brought into the light.

My verdict
Black Rabbit Hall has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while. Now I wish I had read it sooner. It's a beautifully written tale of grief, family secrets, lies and forbidden love.

This is a powerful story of the Alton family in the 1960s and, specifically, teenager Amber. Decades later, Lorna stumbles across Black Rabbit Hall, a large dilapidated house in Cornwall, with her fiancé when they look for a wedding venue.  Lorna feels like she remembers the old house from her childhood, but has no idea why.

Black Rabbit Hall is an emotional read that left me in tears. The wonderful characters and stunning setting pulled me in straight away, with vivid descriptions and powerful dialogue. I loved how the two threads wound seamlessly together, as Amber's tragic story was gradually revealed.

I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

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