On a sultry summer's day in 1980, five friends stumble upon an abandoned lakeside cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. For Kat and her housemates, it offers an escape, a chance to drop out for a while. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise and when an unexpected visitor appears at their door, nothing will be the same again. Three decades later, Lila arrives at the same remote cottage. With her marriage in crisis, she finds solace in renovating the tumbledown house. Little by little she wonders about the previous inhabitants. How did they manage in such isolation? And why did they leave in such a hurry, with their belongings still strewn about? Most disturbing of all, why can't she shake the feeling that someone might be watching her? The Shadow Year is a mesmerising story of tragedy, lies and betrayal.
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Hannah Richell grew up in Buckinghamshire after spending her early childhood in Canada. Having spent the first year of her career working in book publishing, she emigrated to Australia in 2005. She now lives with her husband and two young children in Sydney and returns to the UK as often as possible to spend time with family and savour the green grass of home.Review:
'An engrossing and clever tale' -- Anita Shreve Hannah Richell instantly draws you into her story: powerful, real and memorable -- Elizabeth Noble, author of Things I Want My Daughters to Know The past and present storylines are deftly woven and equally engrossing, while the atmosphere of unease builds and builds, and lingers way beyond the last page. Brilliant -- Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers Seen from the perspectives of the two women, The Shadow Year is a slow-burning drama, with several mysteries furled tightly inside one another, and only gradually are the layers allowed to unravel ... Jodi Picoult has been mentioned as a comparative author in terms of commercial fiction that centralises family and domestic matters, often with some sort of underpinning tragedy as a catalytic force, but Richell does a finer job at just about everything. She's an astute storyteller and knows exactly how to reel in readers and keep them hooked THE AUSTRALIAN Hannah Richell is undoubtedly skilled at creating characters that are so believable your heart aches for them. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 20130701 The gift of a remote cottage offers Lila respite form grief and a rocky marriage. But her life is irrevocably bound up with its former occupants. Powerful and emotive. WOMAN & HOME 20130701 Not only does The Shadow Year have at its heart a clever surprising story, but it's also beautifully written. Author Hannah Richell paints a vivd, colourful picture of of the Peak District through her writing, but its the small details I loved most ... This powerful beautiful book will keep you guessing to the end. A must read! FABULOUS / SUN ON SUNDAY 20130713
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