Michelle Paver. Bloomsbury Publishing. (416p) ISBN: 9781788549578

I’ve always loved reading Michelle Paver’s work and got Wakenhyrst as soon as it came out in paperback, then it’s languished on my TBR for years, creeping up and down as the mood took me.

The Edwardian era is such a short date but so fixed in the minds, lots of societal changes, with technology, science, and religion going through a lot of huge jump.

Wakenhyrst is set in rural Suffolk and follows the obsession of Edmund Stearne and how it twists and turns through the years playing on a shocking secret from his childhood. This is all seen through the eyes of his daughter, Maud.

After the death of her mother in childbirth Maud goes through various periods of development and hate toward her father, the church, and the world. Intelligent and astute though she is her perceptions are those of an innocent child in the countryside and this is crucial to the plot development.

The intertwining of Edmund’s guilt, piety, callousness, and authoritarian trends make this a story that you’re never sure of. On as solid ground as the fens that surround the house, threads come and go throughout this story that are fun to trace down and often as ephemeral as the mists the supernatural theme floats throughout the story.

With an excellent ending this has been a wonderful read, and for those that love the gothic style of ghost stories this is a must book.

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