Black Rabbit HallBook - 2016
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.
Eve Chase's debut novel is a thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but inescapably linked by the dark and tangled secrets of Black Rabbit Hall.
From the critics
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It is not often that a debut novel draws comparisions to classics of a genre, but Black Rabbit Hall delivers a rich, engaging story in the vein of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Scouting locations for their upcoming wedding, Lorna and Job travel to Cornwall to seek out Pencraw Hall – known to locals as Black Rabbit Hall for the hundreds of rabbits that inhabit the crumbling estate’s grounds – an estate Lorna visited once with her mother as a young child. Once they arrive, Lorna feels a strong sense of déjà vu and although it is nearly derelict, she is delighted with the eccentricities of Black Rabbit Hall – the colourful and innumerable rooms, the ivies that have broken through the mortar to trail up the interior walls, and the elderly matron of the hall, Mrs. Alton. Mrs. Alton slowly reveals the story of Black Rabbit Hall and the once prominent family that called it home, and Lorna discovers her connection to the manor is not one of mere memory. Chase exposes Lorna’s connection through a second narrative, that of Amber Alton, a young girl who lived at Black Rabbit Hall thirty years previously. By switching back and forth between the past and present, Chase weaves an incredibly atmospheric story with a pace that keeps pages turning long into the night. Reminiscent of other gothic stories like Valerie Mendes’ Larkswood, Black Rabbit Hall is an imaginative, brooding debut novel of tragic romances and obsession. Best enjoyed on a dark and stormy night near a crackling fireplace.
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