Okay, so I have completely fallen down on the TBR challenge this year and for that I apologize. On the up side, I have an amazing book to recommend: Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase. (By the way, there are a zillion different covers for this book, so I chose the one I liked best for this post. I think it’s actually the UK cover, though.)
Black Rabbit Hall is not a romance, though it is romantic. It’s not a tragedy, though it is tragic. It’s not even a mystery, though there are mysterious elements. I suppose it could be considered a family saga. It’s very, very British and quite Gothic.
A secret history. A long-ago summer. A house with an untold story.
Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s Cornish country house, where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one terrible day, it does.
More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, she soon finds herself ensnared within the house’s labyrinthine history, overcome with a need for answers about her own past and that of the once-golden family whose memory still haunts the estate.
I give this book five stars, but that’s because I read it as straight, mainstream fiction. If you’re expecting a mystery, something to figure out, you’ll be disappointed. Likewise, if you’re expecting an enormous romantic arc you’ll (likely) be disappointed. Everyone in this book is pretty much who (s)he seems to be, and the gradual unfolding of what you already suspect is part of the beauty of it. The language, the pacing, it’s a quiet but lovely book.
And if, like me, family drama is the thing that grabs your emotions, you’ll cry. A lot.