This is a beautifully written dual narrated story about the Alton children in the 1960s and the summers they spend at their family home of Black Rabbit Hall and modern day Lorna who has a strange fascination with Black Rabbit Hall based on an old photograph of her mother’s and is looking to hold her forthcoming wedding there.
A family tragedy brings the Alton siblings’ idyllic childhood to an abrupt end and the repercussions of what happens resonates through the years as we come to discover.
There are many classic elements of engaging story telling here; the crumbling family pile, the wicked stepmother, the illicit love and innocence destroyed but the book does not become a cliché and is involving throughout. There are definite parallels with du Maurier and that’s not just because of the Cornish setting and the wonderful sense of place the book evokes. It’s also because of the human relationships at the heart of the story and the twists and turns that you don’t quite see coming.
The pace really picks up towards the end of the book and the revelations come thick and fast but the story stays believable and remains dramatic not melodramatic.
I’m certainly going to recommend this book to anyone who loves to be engrossed in and moved by well-crafted literary fiction.