Black Rabbit Hall is Eve Chase's debut novel. I can't imagine how she will follow it up - but I will be waiting for her next book.
1969: Amber and her siblings live with their parents at Pencraw Hall, affectionately called Black Rabbit Hall by the children. Life is idyllic, until a single stormy night irrevocably changes the direction of their lives forever.
30 years later: Lorna and her fiancé John are driving the back roads of Cornwall (England) hunting for a Pencraw Hall, that advertised itself as a wedding venue. When they finally come across it, Lorna feels a odd sense of.....something....recognition?
I love dual narratives, past and present being slowly revealed, until the stories inevitably collide, revealing the final connections and resolution.
Amber and Lorna are both wonderful protagonists, each with a distinct voice. I found myself more caught up in the past. Perhaps because it is these events that shape the future? I grew so invested in the lives of the Alton children and found myself cursing the antagonist of the book out loud. I'm trying to not give away too much, but oh my goodness - she is truly, truly nasty.
All the absolutely delicious elements of a Gothic tale are in place - a creaky, crumbling old mansion filled with the detritus of its glory days, a cantankerous old woman in situ who has been hanging on to her secrets for many, many years and a housekeeper who has lived her whole life in that mansion as well. Dark woods and overgrown gardens surround the house, adding to the wonderful atmosphere Chase has created.
Chase drops clues along the way - single sentences that say so much about what has happened. I found myself talking out loud again - quite saddened by some of those past events. And just as some of those past events are revealed, the narrative changes to the present day. For me, this always guarantees being tired in the morning, as I just have to read 'one more chapter'.....and then another and another.
Black Rabbit Hall is hands down one of my fave reads for 2016. Read an excerpt of Black Rabbit Hall. Recommended for Kate Morton fans. You can connect with Eve Chase on her website, as well as on Twitter and find her on Facebook.