A house full of history is bound to have secrets…
‘Spine-tinglingly beautiful. Prepare to lose your heart’ Lisa Jewell
Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…
Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.
While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…
A hauntingly beautiful story of love and hope, from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book and The Summer of Impossible Things
Published July 2019 by Ebury
~ Review ~
Now and then you get a little ‘reading moment’ – you know that feeling when everything is just absolutely right? I had that the other night while reading The Girl At The Window. After a very busy day at work, I was curled up on the sofa with a cosy blanket, candles flickering and rain lashing the windows and found myself completely captivated by this beautiful, spine-chilling book. It was pure, reading bliss.
The Girl At The Window is centered around Ponden Hall, a centuries old house which has belonged to the same family since it was built and crackles with the ghosts and stories of the past. It’s also hosted famous guests, most notably Emily Bronte, and is home to the famous “Cathy window” When Trudy returns home to Ponden following the disappearance and presumed death of her husband, she is faced with the realisation that her Mum has been unable to manage and the house is now in desperate need of repair. Trudy knows the ghosts of her ancestors have stories to tell, but when she uncovers journals during some renovation work, she is stunned at the story which unfolds and links three women over four hundred years.
Wow. Wow. Wow. What an absolute beauty of a book this is. I adored it, and as I was reading it, I became so absorbed by it that everything around me vanished and a couple of hours passed without even looking up. It has everything I love – ghosts, history and secrets – all centered around that gothic classic of an old house seeped in character and atmosphere. And what a house Ponden Hall is – it’s described so richly and vividly that not only could I imagine it but I could feel the crackling tension and charged atmosphere as the ghosts of Trudy’s ancestors fight to make their stories known.
I loved the connection to Emily Bronte and could feel through Rowan Coleman’s descriptions of the house and landscape how she would’ve been inspired by it. There’s ripples of Wuthering Heights to pick up throughout the book which I absolutely adored. I also loved the story of seventeenth-century Agnes, whose tragic story is heartbreaking and powerfully emotional. I thought the way the stories from the 17th, 19th and present centuries were linked through three women was very clever and I was invested in each of them strongly, feeling their emotions and heartache acutely through the author’s beautiful writing.
The Girl At The Window took over me completely while reading it. I was captivated from the beginning and adored every single page. It is a hauntingly beautiful story, which literally sent chills down my spine at times. Packed with atmosphere, emotion, history and romance – I can’t recommend it highly enough. Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year and one that I’d want to read again and again. Stunning.
(I read an advance proof courtesy the publisher)