Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"The Shadow Year" Review

"The Shadow Year" By Hannah Richell 

Let me start by saying that I did not read the synopsis for this book so I had no idea where this story and it's characters were going.

This book starts off with a haunting prologue that immediately grabbed my attention and didn't let go for the remaining 300+ pages. 

"The Shadow Year" is told through two different points of view, 30 years apart in alternating chapters. 

In the present day we have Lila.

Lila has recently suffered the death of her father and the loss of her newborn baby.
She's depressed and justifiably can't move on for multiple reasons. One of the main ones being she can't remember the day that she fell down a flight of stairs causing the early delivery of her daughter. 

She blames herself for rushing about that day, trying on different tops, being frustrated that none of them fit. But after getting dressed that day her memories blur and disappear all together. 

Her husband Tom is worried about her and that worry only grows when she receives a letter from a law firm stating that she has been gifted a plot of land and a small cottage in a remote area in the English countryside by an anonymous person. Lila, seeking solitude, silence and being an interior renovator decides to fix up the desolate cottage. She is fascinated by the former inhabitants of the old cottage, often wondering how they survived in such seclusion and with such little amenities.  

In 1980 we have Kat. 

Kat and her four friends have just graduated from university, within the next couple of weeks they are expected to find jobs, places to live, places to settle down. 

Faced with the inevitability of having to grow up they decide to have one last weekend. One filled with swimming, drinking and smoking. Deciding that the beach will be packed with people who all had the same idea they are provided a solution when Mac, the quiet one of the group, suggests a hidden lake that he once visited.

Hours away from London and off the beaten path they are amazed at the beauty that is tucked away there. Enjoying their last couple of days together they can't fathom why no one has claimed the plot of land by the lake with a cottage nestled in the middle of it. Simon, the unspoken leader of the group suggests they themselves claim it, take a year off, spend it together, away from everyone else, away from the troubles of the outside world lurking beyond the trees. 

They'll grow their own food, chop their own wood, live off of the land.   

Kat is easily swayed, she would do anything to spend as much time with Simon as possible. Ben, Carla and Mac also agree. After all, its only a year, what could they possibly have to lose? Simon swears them all to secrecy, no one needs to know where they are. It would only disrupt their plans. 

When Kat goes against Simon's wishes and writes to her younger sister telling her where they are she doesn't think much of it. She has always been like a mother to Freya and she doesn't want her to feel abandoned. The thought never crosses her mind that Freya would travel hundreds of miles to see her and her friends secret hideaway. 

"The Shadow Year" is a thought provoking tale of love, secrets, betrayal 
and the lies we tell ourselves to heal our scars. 

Until next time, 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to 
me for free to review.
My review is my honest opinion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment