Sara Keane’s husband, Damien, has uprooted them from England and moved them to his native Northern Ireland for a “fresh start” in the wake of her nervous breakdown. Sara, who knows no one in Northern Ireland, is jobless, carless, friendless—all but a prisoner in her own house. When a blood-soaked old woman beats on the door, insisting the house is hers before being bundled back to her care facility, Sara begins to understand the house has a terrible history her husband never intended for her to discover. As the two women form a bond over their shared traumas, Sara finds the strength to stand up to her abuser, and Mary—silent for six decades—is finally ready to tell her story . . .
Through the counterpoint voices—one modern Englishwoman, one Northern Irish farmgirl speaking from half a century earlier—Stuart Neville offers a chilling and gorgeous portrait of violence and resilience in this truly haunting narrative.
My thoughts: this book was shocking and harrowing. Between the terrible abuse Sara is suffering at the hands of her husband and the horrors of the farm sixty years before, it paints a bleak portrait of life.
The farmhouse exerts a terrible fascination for Sara, who sees its ghosts and finds it disturbing. She’s determined to find out what happened to Mary all those years ago and bring the past into the light. But to do that she has to stand up for herself and stop her awful husband from crushing her completely. He and his father have been getting away with things for too long and it’s only by breaking free that she, and Mary, can put the ghosts to rest.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.