A Times Best Book of 2019. “Something has been let loose…”
In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father.
When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.
Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.
Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl’s longing to fly free by the bestselling author of Dark Matter and Thin Air. Wakenhyrst is an outstanding new piece of story-telling, a tale of mystery and imagination laced with terror. It is a masterwork in the modern gothic tradition that ranges from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Neil Gaiman and Sarah Perry.
'A clever, creepy Gothic tale' Saga. 'This book is steeped in atmosphere as well as the stench and slime of the fen itself, a place barely touched by the outside world, and it is beautifully written and deliciously, gorgeously creepy' For Winter Nights. 'Paver herself said it was the best book she's written, and you can see why: it's compulsively readable and savagely intelligent' The Roaring Bookworm. 'There is a thick air of mystery to the story. The household is shrouded in secrets. I really liked the sinister, gothic feel I got from Wakenhyrst and I'll be looking out for more!' A Knight's Reads. 'Gothic thriller spanning five centuries. A woman living with her repressive father faces a battle against witchcraft and sorcery when a strange icon is discovered in a churchyard' Love It Magazine. 'This dark, gothic tale will hook you in with its atmospheric setting' Fabulous Magazine. 'This is true goose-bump material' 8/10, Sunday Post. 'A demonic presence lurks in the fens in this tale about murder, loneliness and an abusive relationship' The Times, The Best Books of 2019. 'This perfectly constructed "modern Gothic" is laced with a real sense of menace - and a healthy dose of feminism' Heat. 'Dark, atmospheric and beautifully written' Candis. 'Wakenhyrst is many things all at once - a chilling Gothic horror, a coming of age tale, a story of madness and loneliness, and most of all an account of how one girl manages to look out for herself when no-one else will. Paver successfully balances these themes as only a confident writer can. With fully realised characters and motivations, she draws you deeper and deeper into the story, even as the sense of dread grows stronger with every turn of the page' Scotland on Sunday. 'This dark, gothic tale will hook you in with its atmospheric setting of a house on the edge of the Suffolk fens, and its themes of superstition, witchcraft and religion' Sun. 'A spine-chilling masterpiece' Woman and Home. '[A] superb, supernatural novel ... Paver deliciously ratchets up the tension as Maud struggles for autonomy in the face of her father's deranged obsessions' Daily Mail. 'It's a ghost story to put beside the classics of an earlier era ... Compelling' Evening Standard. 'A brilliantly atmospheric read (be warned: it's also terrifying!) with a brave, forward-thinking heroine I loved' Good Housekeeping. '[Michelle Paver's] storytelling is irresistible' The Times, Historical Fiction Book of the Month. 'This book has been haunting me ... Very gripping' BBC Radio 2 Book Club. 'Original and engrossing ... Paver masterfully blends together two narratives ... Spanning fen devils, mystics and the lot of women in Edwardian England' Observer. 'Paver is back on top form' The Bookseller, Editor's Choice.
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