Wooooo hooooo Happy Paperback Publication Day to Michelle Paver and Wakenhyrst!!! To celebrate I’m resharing my review from earlier this year!
My thanks again go to Annabelle Wright of ed public relations and Head of Zeus for my copy of Wakenhyrst which I received through Netgalley.
Inspired by a series of real events and fuelled by secrets from her maternal past: from Michelle’s sighting of a murmuration of starlings on a Suffolk marsh; to the discovery of a battered copy of The Book of Margery Kempe by a 15th Century mystic; to the story of the Wenhaston Doom, a medieval painting of the Last Judgement; to the real-life story of Richard Dadd, the Victorian murderer and artist; this is Michelle Paver’s most evocative and personal masterpiece to date.
In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens; a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard primeval secrets. Here, Maud grows up as a lonely child without a mother, ruled by her repressive and emotionally-absent historian father.
When Maud’s father finds a painted medieval ‘Doom’ in a graveyard, an ancient evil is disturbed, and her battle begins. In a world steeped in witchcraft, legend and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past, Maud must find a way, not only to survive, but to fly free.
What Did I Think?
I don’t normally read historical crime fiction or gothic based fiction but there was something about the blurb for Wakenhyrst that caught my interest. Little did I know what I’d let myself in for!
Wakenhyrst wasn’t just this historical crime thriller that I was expecting; for me it turned into a bit of a historic psychological thriller. Anything that happened to Maud’s father, Edmund I questioned whether it was actually happening, whether someone was causing these things to happen or whether Edmund was just mad! This could actually say more about me and my love of psychological thrillers – the way Ms Paver has written the story made me doubt whether the events I was reading about were real!
Our leading lady Maud, I really didn’t know what to make of her. She’s lived an oppressed life in the shadow of her brother, working as her father’s secretary. But she’s a bright lass and someone who is passionate with a dark side. There is a lot that happens in Maud’s life that is out of her control and as she grows up, she grows in confidence to take control of her life, manipulating those around her. Saying that, I loved her friendship with Clem the gardener; there is a feel of innocence that comes with first love which is endearing
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!
Who Is Michelle Paver?
Michelle Paver is an international bestselling author with over 3 million copies of her books sold in 37 countries across the globe. She writes for both adults and children and her work includes two of the most critically and commercially acclaimed ghost stories of modern times, Dark Matter and Thin Air and the prize-winning, million copy selling, children’s series, Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. A new book in the series, Viper’s Daughter, will be published by Head of Zeus in April 2020.
Born in Malawi, Michelle Paver came to England as a child. She studied Biochemistry at Oxford University before becoming a partner in a City of London law firm. She began to write after her father’s death prompted her to take a one-year sabbatical. She has never looked back. Known for her extensive research, Wakenhyrst was inspired by the rich and haunting folklore of the Suffolk fens, chance encounters, and both the personal and universal stories of women’s quest for independence.