Monday, May 5, 2014

Julie's Review: The Shadow Year

Author: Hannah Richell
Series: None
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 400
Obtained: Publisher via She Reads
Genre:  Mystery
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: An intriguing mystery surrounding the past and the present
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Still grieving the death of her prematurely delivered infant, Lila finds a welcome distraction in renovating a country house she's recently inherited. Surrounded by blueprints and plaster dust, though, she finds herself drawn into the story of a group of idealistic university grads from thirty years before, who'd thrown off the shackles of bourgeois city life to claim the cottage and rely only on each other on the land. But utopia-building can be fraught with unexpected peril, and when the fate of the group is left eerily unclear, Lila turns her attention to untangling a web of secrets to uncover the shocking truth of what happened that fateful year, in order to come to terms with her own loss and build a new future for herself. Suspenseful and moving, with a deep secret at its heart, THE SHADOW YEAR is Hannah Richell's breakout book.

Review: What I loved about The Shadow Year was the setting in the Peak District. It sounded peaceful, remote and gorgeous. Now, could I take a year break and live off the land? Probably not. Sure things weren't as technology driven back in the good ole 80s but you were still removing yourself from society. Five college friends decide to delay their jobs for a year to live in a broken down cabin near the lake and of course when you are in that close of quarters with limited funds, drama will ensue. They are just getting into a routine when Kat's sister Freya shows up. You pretty much know that when she shows up that she will be the catalyst for the situation that changes the dynamic.

 I wouldn't say that any of the characters particularly jumped out at me as being a favorite. Each one of them played their part. Kat and Freya had a strained relationship before she showed up at the cabin. What happens there will change their relationship forever. Kat drove me nuts in her blind faith in Simon. Even when Simon was wrong and she thought so, she still stood by him. It made me hopping mad. Simon was a righteous jerk, who never really got what was coming to him.

Even though I had the ties quickly bowed up, I will say that Ms. Richell did keep me guessing that I was right until the end. She also had a few twists and turns thrown in that weren't plot devices. Any one who enjoys a good mystery and some family secrets, then The Shadow Year is for you.


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