1903 All Hallows asylum takes in a woman and child with severe mental trauma. Elderly nurse Emma Everdeen takes charge of their care. 1993 Lewis Tyler is forcibly taken to All Hallows boarding school whilst still grieving the loss of his mother. He makes friends with outcast Isak but the boys are haunted by the sinister feel of the old building…
The Room in the Attic is a book of mystery, suspense and a good helping of spookiness! However, it also unleashed an emotional tug especially at the heartbreaking way Lewis is treated as he tries to grieve for his mother.
The book is written across timelines separated by a century. I found myself immersed in both timelines equally. This feels like a classical gothic ghost story and I became reluctant to read after dark! There’s a rocking chair rocking on its own, the discovery of a skeleton and a general atmospheric tone to the plot that is unsettling.
My heart was breaking for Lewis as his cruel family reject his creative outlook on life after the death of his mum. His subsequent removal to boarding school is undeniably upsetting and as a mum I just wanted to scoop him up and give him a hug. Meanwhile Nurse Emma finds her own grief at the death of her young son is revisited as she tends to little Harriet in the room in the attic.
The Room in the Attic is a hauntingly good novel, creepy but with an emotional level that gave the book a depth that significantly increased my enjoyment.
The Room in the Attic book blurb
A child who does not know her name…
In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens. She is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.
Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…
In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.
Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…
All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.
Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above. Or are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…
Praise for Louise Douglas
‘A brilliantly written, gripping, clever, compelling story, that I struggled to put down. The vivid descriptions, the evocative plot and the intrigue that Louise created, which had me constantly asking questions, made it a highly enjoyable, absolute treasure of a read.’ Kim Nash on The Scarlet Dress
‘A tender, heart-breaking, page-turning read’ Rachel Hore on The House by the Sea
‘The perfect combination of page-turning thriller and deeply emotional family story. Superb.’ Nicola Cornick on The House by the Sea
‘Kept me guessing until the last few pages and the explosive ending took my breath away.’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Accident on Your Beautiful Lies
‘Beautifully written, chillingly atmospheric and utterly compelling, The Secret by the Lake is Louise Douglas at her brilliant best’ Tammy Cohen, author of The Broken
‘A master of her craft, Louise Douglas ratchets up the tension in this haunting and exquisitely written tale of buried secrets and past tragedy.’ Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret
‘A clammy, atmospheric and suspenseful novel, it builds in tension all the way through to the startling final pages.’ Sunday Express, S Magazine
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3kWii6u
Author Bio –
Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.
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