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Publisher Description

A debut novel for fans of Sarah Perry and Kate Morton: when a young woman is tasked with safeguarding a natural history collection as it is spirited out of London during World War II, she discovers her new manor home is a place of secrets and terror instead of protection.

In August 1939, thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright arrives at Lockwood Manor to oversee a natural history museum collection whose contents have been taken out of London for safekeeping. She is unprepared for the scale of protecting her charges from party guests, wild animals, the elements, the tyrannical Major Lockwood, and Luftwaffe bombs. Most of all, she is unprepared for the beautiful and haunted Lucy Lockwood.

For Lucy, who has spent much of her life cloistered at Lockwood, suffering from bad nerves, the arrival of the museum brings with it new freedoms. But it also resurfaces memories of her late mother and nightmares in which Lucy roams Lockwood, hunting for something she has lost.

When the animals appear to move of their own accord and exhibits go missing, Hetty and Lucy begin to wonder what exactly it is that they might need protection from. And as the disasters mount, it is not only Hetty’s future employment that is in danger but her own sanity. There’s something, or someone, in the house. Someone stalking her through its darkened corridors . . .

Fiction & Literature
March 10
HMH Books
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Customer Reviews

User171741 ,

Never Quite Got Into It

The Animals at Lockwood Manor is an interesting story, but I couldn’t really get into it. The two primary characters were a little lackluster. I hoped they would find some strength and overcome their circumstances, but never really found their power. There were some darker elements, but more gothic than twisted. The ghostly elements never really hit home for me either.

The most interesting part of the book was how the museums worked with private estates during the war. I had known about these homes turning into hospitals and convalescent homes, but had not heard much about them being used to house museum wares, and how those deals went down, so that was interesting to read about.

It felt a little like Jane Eyre to me. And if you see that as a plus, then you should give this book a try, but if like me, the Bronte’s aren’t among your favorites, I don’t think I’d recommend it.

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