Originally published: 20 February 2020
Author: Nuala Ellwood
Published by: Penguin
Length: 312 pages
Reading dates: 9-12 February 2020
The House on the Lake starts with Lisa and her toddler Joe arriving in an isolated run down house next to a lake in a tiny Yorkshire village. We learn that Lisa is desperate – her husband has been very controlling of her and she has run away with Joe, knowing that he will never be able to find them.
A friend of Lisa’s has said she can use Rowan Isle House if she ever needs to, which is how she comes to be there. The house is incredibly run down, no working electric or running water. Lisa had no idea the house would be inhabitable and you really get a sense of how desperate she must be to let little boy to stay in a place like that!
We also have flashes back to 16 years earlier to the previous residents of the house, a young girl and her father who live a very isolated life. The father is an ex soldier and is determined to teach his daughter the ways of survival. To begin with she is happy with just her and her dad, but as her dad’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic she becomes scared of him and wants a more normal life.
As Lisa starts to meet some of the residents of the village, she soon learns of the secrets the house has kept hidden all these years.
This is a real page turner of a novel. I loved the way the story flitted between Lisa and the young girl in the house. There is a lot of tension and you are left wanting to find out the connection between both stories. The location of the house adds to the claustrophobic and spooky feeling so I was never sure if it was going to be a thriller or a ghost story!
A slow build up as we get to know the characters and their history, there are lots of surprises! A great thrilling read!
Thank you so much to Ellie from Penguin Viking for inviting me on the tour and for sending me a copy of the book.
About the author:
Nuala Ellwood is the author of two bestselling novels: My Sister’s Bones for which she was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’ and Day of the Accident. Nuala teaches Creative Writing at York St John University, and lives in the city with her young son.