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  • Had me gripped

    I knew this would be a good book as her last book was an excellent read. But this was so much better and different, about half way through I thought I had guessed how it would end...But I was so wrong. I had to finish it because I wanted to know that Lisa and Joe got the happy ending that I wanted them to have and to find out what happened to Grace. The twist at the end was so unexpected. I love reading Nuala Ellwood books they are such exciting reads.

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    3 person found this review helpful

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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Tremendous Read!

    What a magnificent read! I haven't read Nuala Ellwood’s début novel, My Sister’s Bones or her second one, The Day of The Accident, but this one is a winner! Book Synopsis: No matter how far you run . . . He's never far behind Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend's rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It's miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe. But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realises that she and Joe aren't as safe as she thought. What secret has Rowan Isle House - and her friend - kept hidden all these years? And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her? My musings: I found this a really compelling and hugely entertaining story. The House on the Lake is a novel about abuse and control, being controlled as well as taking control. Even though there are two substantially different stories in this novel, it easy to see the similarities and to hope for a positive outcome for both. The narrative is intriguing and is told from the perspectives of two characters, one set in the past (2002) and the other in the present (2018). Nuala Ellwood delivers a superbly developed character in Lisa, and writing the book partly from her point of view was an inspired choice. She was constantly plagued by a particular voice from her past, making her fretful, jumpy and anxious, as well as myself, while the tension seeped from the pages. Within the passages set in the past, the reader is privy to Soldier number one’s logbook, who is called Grace. She used to live at the house with her father, Sarge, and they led an unusual life with little social interaction, sometimes hunting together in the woods. Grace was given a logbook for her birthday and was instructed to write in it every day. The flipping from the present to the past was seamless and enhanced the feeling of tension. The other characters were all vivid and interesting in their individual ways, including the house itself. Set in the Yorkshire Dales, Rowan Isle House also had an identity of its own as it was key to the happenings in the story. In a decrepit state, it felt evil, dismal and hostile, though symbolic. Nuala Ellwood's descriptions of the house were fantastic and I could really feel it’s presence. This is a story that I found incredibly engrossing and effortless to read, as I enjoyed the author’s compelling writing. Things were rounded off superbly in the masterfully plotted conclusion. Verdict: Very highly recommended for those who get a buzz from goth-style, romantic thrillers. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Penguin Books via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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