My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lorna and Jon is looking for a perfect venue for their wedding when they see the Black Rabbit Hall with an ageing matriarch Caroline and a run to ragged housekeeper Endellion. Pencraw Hall or as the locals refer to as the Black Rabbit Hall is the summer house of the Alton family. The House is falling to pieces and is in gross need for repairs but Lorna doesn’t see the faults but only the beauty as something about the house and the surrounding woods fill her with rapture. Back in London, she realizes that Black Rabbit Hall has some connection to her childhood as there are quite a few pictures of her with her mom who has recently passed away. In spite of being warned off by Jon to its unsuitability, Lorna senses a connection to the house and is determined to spend a weekend there and it is then she feels compelled to find more about the Alton children-Amber, Toby, Barney and Kitty and their fun loving mother Nancy.
It is the Easter holiday time of 1968 that the Alton family comes to spend at Black rabbit Hall where the roofs are crumbling and all the clocks have their own schedule of time, that tragedy strikes and all the sunshine in the children’s life is sucked out. It is Amber at 14 yrs of age who holds the candle aflame and tries to glue the family back together but in the space of a year her strength is sorely tested as more misfortune has to be faced before the sun can penetrate thru.
The story is told in alternate chapters thru Lorna and Amber and it is tale of hope and tragedy, love and possessiveness, jealousy and hatred, lies and deceit. Lorna herself has to face the truth of her pasts before she can forge a way into the future and it is this journey that has been wonderfully achieved by the author. The atmospheric feel of the story was immersive that one can imagine the summery laziness, the woods and the beaches, the laughter of the children and Barney’s joy in rabbits.
The blurb says it is perfect for fans of Kate Morton and that exactly sums it up, a story of a family and their tragedy and their love for each other that shines bright. The ending was perfect for the story and there were quite a few chapters that left me teary-eyed.
Brilliant! Looking forward to read more by this author.
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