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Two orphaned sisters in a house of secrets...
On a foggy evening in 1947, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca are banished by their aunt and sent to work at an isolated Welsh mansion. But there are rumours of missing maidservants and a ghost that stalks the deserted halls... Wandering through the mansion's dusty rooms, Eliza finds blood-spattered books, crumpled photographs and portraits of a mysterious woman - clues to a terrible past that might just become Eliza's future.
As Eliza unravels a mystery that has endured for decades, Rebecca falls under the spell of cruel housekeeper Mrs Pollard, who will stop at nothing to keep the house's secrets. But can the sisters uncover the truth and escape back to London before they meet a dreadful fate?
"Lauren A. Forry was PA to Zooey Deschanel on The Happening - that being an M. Night Shyamalan movie, she's obviously well versed in nightmares... This debut novel of the Faber & Faber Creative Writing MA prize winner, touted as Daphne Du Maurier meets hitchcock, is one to watch."
"Lauren Forry has created a brilliant debut novel, one that creeped me out, kept me hooked and will have me recommending Abigale Hall to everyone."
READING WITH A VIEW
"Abigale Hall hooks you in... Death hangs on the edge of the pages."
HEATHER WRITES (4 Stars)
"The mansionis something out of a gothic horror in its own right, and there's even a sinister housekeeper something along the lines of the terrifying Mrs Danvers from... what was that book... Ah yes, Rebecca!"
CRIME FICTION LOVER
"A beautifully written novel full of rumours, intrigue, love and loss."
THE WELSH LIBRARIAN
"Forry ratches up the tension expertly, until we don't know if it's madness, ghosts, someone toying with Eliza, or her own imagination that makes the mansion such a place of fear. Whatever it is, it works - keep the lights on when reading!"
From the first paragraph of British author Forry's debut, readers know they have entered a splendid gothic novel, with dark shadows and a disturbing creep of horror. It then comes as an intriguing surprise that the book is set in the years following the end of WWII. London is a city still suffering the aftereffects of the war: food shortages, ration books, unemployment, and the collective memories of bombings and blackouts. Seventeen-year-old Eliza Haverford and her 12-year-old sister, Rebecca, have lost their parents and are now in the care of their sullen Aunt Bess, who's more than willing to ship the girls off to Wales to work as servants. They therefore find themselves escorted by dour Mr. Drewry to Thornecroft, an isolated and dilapidated manor house, whose grimy, shabby interior and labyrinthine layout provide the ideal setting for exaggerating fears and hiding appalling truths. Forry shows herself a master at seductive prose that keeps the reader turning pages, eager to discover the next shocking turn of events.