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Monday, 9 April 2018

The Stranger by Kate Riordan

Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of deepest night a young woman is found washed up on the rocks.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

Title: The Stranger
Author: Kate Riordan
Published By: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Links:   UK: Amazon     US:  Amazon

Our Review

A beautiful historical novel with an edge of mystery and intrigue.

Three Landgirls find themselves working at Penhallow Hall in Cornwall during the war.
Diana, Rose and Jane are completely different personalities who share a dormitory but not their secrets which are gradually exposed throughout this beautifully written novel.

The lady of the house Mrs Fox and her daughter Eleanor have a very difficult relationship and the reason behind that becomes clear through a mix of present day happenings along with depictions of Eleanor's memories from 1924 when everything seemed to stand still for the family who lived at Penhallow Hall.

The story is told through a mixture of Diana's diary entries and Eleanor and Rose's movements.
There is also a countdown to when one of the girls goes missing and a build up of intrigue as to whether someone is responsible for her disappearance as she manages to upset quite a few people along the way. She is not a likable character on the surface but beneath the bravado we find that she is quite a complex character with a disturbing past.

The writing is a dream to read and to learn from if you are an aspiring writer.
The haunting descriptions of Cornwall and Penhallow Hall are vivid and accentuated by the weather and the underlying fear of the German aircraft flying over.

It is set at a wonderfully relaxed pace which enables the reader to appreciate the prose. 

Book Angel x

About the Author

Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist. After working on staff at the Guardian and Time Out London, she left the capital and moved to the Cotswolds in order to concentrate on writing novels. Published by Penguin, HarperCollins and Heyne, she's currently writing her fifth book.

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