Monday, April 3, 2017

Foxlowe - Eleanor Wasserberg

Foxlowe is Eleanor Wasserberg's debut novel.

I loved the cover - creepy, Gothic looking manor - there can only be a good story lurking behind those rusty closed gates.

Foxlowe is the name of the estate, tucked away in the moors and crumbling into ruin. But it is home to a number of people living communally. There are three children in the group. One barely remembers the 'Outside', one was born in the house and one arrived as a baby. Their world is Foxlowe - they've never traveled outside it's confines. The narrator of the story is Green - the girl born in the house.

While the adults believe they are living in an idyllic world, this is far from the truth. Relationships begin to crumble, the rituals meant to keep their collective safe don't seem to have the same power and as the children grow, some of them begin to wonder what is Outside the gates. Is it truly the Bad that they've been warned about?

Green's voice is by turns fierce, frightened, clear and confused. The three have no reference beyond what they have learned from the adults in the group. I desperately wanted to rescue them. Freya is the leader of the group and oh, she was easy to despise. We can see that many of her rules and ceremonies are harmful, yet the Family seem to blithely accept them.

Descriptions of the house were detailed - I had a vivid sense of place.

I literally couldn't put the book down, caught up in this 'utopian' setting. The arrival of the end of part one caught me unawares. I had unanswered questions! Part two takes a circuitous route from present to past that again, only encourages the reader to keep turning pages late into the night.

The last chapter and especially the last paragraph were unexpected, negating the ending I anticipated. One last shiver before I closed the cover. I really enjoyed Foxlowe. I had no idea where Wasserberg was going to take her story - I quite appreciate a book being unpredictable. Read an excerpt of Foxlowe.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Your outstanding review makes me want to read this book!