The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

the shadow yearBlurb from, please scroll down for my review.

On a sultry summer’s day in 1980, five friends stumble upon an abandoned lakeside cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. For Kat and her friends, it offers an escape; a chance to drop out for a while, with lazy summer days by the lake and intimate winter evenings around the fire. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise and when an unexpected visitor appears at their door, nothing will be the same again.

Three decades later, Lila arrives at the same remote cottage. With her marriage in crisis, she finds solace in renovating the tumbledown house. Little by little she wonders about the previous inhabitants. How did they manage in such isolation? Why did they leave in such a hurry, with their belongings still strewn about? Most disturbing of all, why can t she shake the feeling that someone might be watching her?

The Shadow Year is a story of secrets, tragedy, lies and betrayal. It’s a tale that explores the light and dark of human relationships and the potential the past has to not only touch our present, but also to alter our future

Five Friends,
An abandoned house,
A secret they can´t bury


My Review.

A very enjoyable read, for those interested there is no gore, thrills or excitement; it is a quiet, fun and emotional chick lit book, with some mystery thrown in. It is very well written, the descriptions of the Peak District are stunning, making me want to visit. They are an essential part of the book.

You have got two different timelines; one in the 80´s and one in the present time. The characters in the past section aren´t so great, especially Kat and Simon. Kat was particularly annoying and Simon just plain irritating, why the other characters in the past section gave him the time of day I have no idea. What I did like was what they did, spend a year away from it all, basically the 5 students who didn´t want to start a real life, so they decided to slum it for a while, but this of course has it´s consequences: 5 people stuck in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, with next to no money and during the winter months next to no food can create friction. Meanwhile in the present time Lila is battling with the lost of her unborn baby and with problems in her marriage, she receives a key to a property in the Peak District, which she decides to renovate, (how cool is that). The book is all about how the past and the present connect. I was surprised at the end as I didn´t guess it so it made it more special.

The past and present swap nicely and it easy to go from one to another. The author connects to dots bit by bit, it is a book that is very easy to read, pick up and put down.

What a great cover. This is the author’s second book.

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 20th 2013 by Orion Publishing (first published April 30th 2013)
original title: The Shadow Year
ISBN: 1409142981 (ISBN13: 9781409142980)
edition language: English

The Shadow Year

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