This horror story, set in 1950′s rural England, follows Cora and her younger sister Mimi, who are sent to stay with their aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon. Their aunt does not welcome them warmly, and forbids them to crack a window in the house or visit the nearby church. What follows is a bit of rule breaking, which leads the girls to uncover a grim evil that has been plaguing the town for centuries.
This is a slow, atmospheric read. There are plenty of “everyday” scenes, which dispel tension on occasion, but also make the characters and town feel that much more real. Which in turn makes the events that unfold–apparitions in a graveyard, ghostly songs sung in the night, the sound of scratching in the walls–that much more disturbing. There’s multiple narrations, and while I’m still not convinced the entire story couldn’t have been told from merely Cora’s point-of-view, one thing is certain: this is a highly effective horror story. I couldn’t read it at night. I shuddered many, many times and was thoroughly freaked out. This won’t be for everyone, but horror fans, and those willing to immerse themselves in a slower read, should pick this up. The last hundred pages pack quite the punch.
Originally posted here