My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Description from Amazon
A wonderfully atmospheric collection of stories from one of our most captivating writers, inspired by ghost stories, traditional folk tales and country legends from England and France. These tales are richly populated by spirits and ghosts seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny – all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc.
The collection will include The Mistletoe Bride, La Fille de Melisande, Red Letter Day, The Lending Library, The House on the Hill…
What I thought of it
Writing short stories is a somewhat different art to writing novels, so I was intrigued to see how the author of the bestselling Languedoc trilogy would handle the shorter form. These tales were written over several years (some published, some not), but all have been edited for this anthology. As the title suggests, the underlying theme is that of the ghost story, perfect for dark autumn nights with the log fire ablaze!
For me, the memorable stories are:
- Red Letter Day: An atmospheric story traced by the ghostly whispers of the Cathars, and one which highlights the author’s love of the Languedoc region of France.
- The Drowned Village: A Breton-inspired tale of water and fire and legend, and one which I raced through as the story progressed.
- The House on the Hill: Set in Sussex in the 1920s, a clever and spine-tingling story of love, loss and forgiveness. This is my favourite of all the tales.
- The Ship of the Dead: A masterful tale of a Finistere fishing village and the Ankou, a story which relentlessly carries the reader forward in its quiet horror.
- The Revenant: This is a darkly wonderful tale of the mists and the marshes and debts to be paid by the living.
- The Yellow Scarf: This timeslip tale, rich in detail and history, gave me chills; not because it was spooky, but because of the way it resolved.
Many of these tales remind me of Daphne du Maurier’s work, which is certainly no bad thing in my view!
Nearly a 5-star read for me.
A massive thank you to Ron for buying me this book . . . and for getting it signed by the author herself! 😀