For my second post of the day I’m thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for the mesmerising The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans. Thank you to Anne Cater and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read and review this suspense filled and atmospheric book.
About the book:
The outstanding new novel from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author of The Garden of Lost and Found.
Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind? The answer lies buried in the past.
It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes a mysterious West Country manor house – where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn.
She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present . .
About the author:
Harriet Evans is the author of several top ten bestsellers including the Sunday Times bestselling The Garden of Lost and Found and Richard and Judy bookclub selection The Wildflowers.
She used to work in publishing and now writes full time, when she is not being distracted by her children, other books, sewing projects, puzzles, gardening, and her much-loved collection of jumpsuits.
Last year, she and her family moved from London to Bath.
The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans is a suspense filled and atmospheric book that I found mesmerising from the very first word right up until the final page had been turned. A hauntingly beautiful, chilling and at times eerie read, it kept me guessing throughout, never quite knowing in which direction this beautifully written story was going to take me next.
Catherine, a successful lawyer, is happily married to Davide and has two teenaged children. Returning home after a trip to France she discovers her study has been broken into and ransacked via a window into the otherwise locked room. Unnerved by the break in, it soon becomes apparent that Catherine is hiding a secret past, a past she now fears is about to catch up with her. As her anxiety increases, Catherine begins to see a figure from her past, a person she believes to be long dead. And then, on the eve of her wedding anniversary, she disappears…
We are then taken back to the summer of 1989 to Vanes, a mysterious West Country manor house, where recently bereaved Janey Lestrange arrives to stay with the grand Hunter family. It is there, during that hot summer, that a devastating tragedy will unfold when an ancient ritual goes horribly wrong. With the constant humming of bees and a chilling sense of unease rippling beneath the surface, Janey finds herself falling for each member of the family in turn. As the tension rises and the feeling of unease intensifies, the pieces of the puzzle slowly begin to fall into place.
Harriet Evans has written a book that feels almost gothic at times, with the scenes from the past taking on a slightly ethereal quality, chilling me to the bone as the truth finally becomes clear. There are some not very likeable characters in The Beloved Girls, but that only serves to make the book even more interesting as the story continues. I like a book that moves backwards and forwards through different timelines and this one did so with ease, bringing the story, characters and sense of unease vividly to life.
The Beloved Girls is a mesmerising read that captivated me from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans is available to purchase now:
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