*Chills* That is what this book gives me! I originally reviewed Haverscroft by SA Harris when it was published earlier this year. In fact I was a blog tour add on (not officially on the blog tour but squeezed it in at the end). I couldn’t bloody wait to jump nose first into the pages, I had seen so many people raving about this book that I couldn’t stop that reading impulse to wait and follow my TBR list… Do people actually do that?! For those of you who don’t have Haverscroft on your radar, it needs to be there, believe me! It’s now available in paperback and e-book format directly from Salt Publishing’s website here.
Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?
From the first few pages, I felt myself being sucked into the lives of the Keeling family, where Kate and Mark are clearly suffering a strain in their marriage. We as readers are kept in the dark about the origins of this strain as they move themselves and their twin children Sophie and Tom out of London to a large, old house called Haverscroft, within this country style community, practically in the middle of nowhere. This is where my creepy tingles start to begin, you just know that this is going to be the beginning of a nightmare!
I found the whole setting to be oozing with perfect atmosphere, I swear I could feel an air of chill circling me, when in fact it was the eerie writing and imagination from SA Harris. The narrative was written from Kate’s point of view, which was perfect because you get a direct insight into her thoughts and feelings, there is a question of her historical mental wellbeing where you feel yourself questioning the reliability of the narrative. The overall feeling of the book was very Shirley Jackson gothic, entwined with domestic elements. What I enjoyed about the storyline was that I was always kept guessing, with incredible cliff hangers and delicious revelations along the way.
Haverscroft was a captivating read with incredible imagery, with an eerie tension that is developed at the perfect pace. I spent my whole evening cwtched up under a blanket and a few cups of tea, absorbing the naturally flowing dialogue. Some haunting reads tend to be purposely jumpy and such, but SA Harris has produced an easy to follow haunted house read that also speaks to the reader’s (me) own imagination…. I also live in an old creepy cottage *face palm*
The characterization of Kate and Mark especially are hugely believable, marital strain, trying to make it work and moving on from conflicting situations can be identified by many to a certain degree, this makes the whole story more believable, especially as Kate begins to question her own sanity! The characters, as well as the storyline isn’t predictable or boring, although I do have a few choice words in my head to describe Mark. They aren’t very PG though.
If you love disturbingly undercurrent to your reads with a creativity that will send your imagination into overdrive, this is the read for you! Although do not read in bed, I REPEAT, do not read in bed because the twistingly creepy plot that will have you checking under the bed!
Thank you for popping along to read my review! Have you read it yet? It is the absolute perfect accompaniment to your cold winter evenings and hot chocolate – blanket dates! If you’re a fan of Shirley Jackson then you will absolutely love Haverscroft, adore it even!
If you have read it, please share your reviews, thoughts, tweets about it! Remember to use #IndiesOfChristmas. Also, Sally is super interactive on Twitter, plus her baking photos just leave me starving! You can follow her @SalHarris1.