The Shadow Year, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A spellbinding tale of grief, jealousy and betrayal, from the author of the Richard & Judy Book Club selected SECRETS OF THE TIDES. 1980. On a hot summer's day five friends stumble upon an abandoned cottage hidden deep in the English countryside.

Isolated and run-down, it offers a retreat, somewhere they can escape from the world.

But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise...Three decades later, Lila arrives at the remote cottage.

Bruised from a tragic accident and with her marriage in crisis, she finds renovating the tumbledown house gives her a renewed sense of purpose.

But why did the cottage's previous inhabitants leave their belongings behind? And why can't she shake the feeling that someone is watching her?




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The Shadow Year is set both in the current day and in 1980. In the current day, Lila and Tom are dealing with the loss of their child. Lila is struggling to cope and the sanctuary of a remote cottage in the Peak District is just what she needs. In 1980, five friends turn up at the same cottage and decide to spend time there. But relationships within the group soon start to fracture.This is a very well-plotted book that kept me guessing throughout, right up to the very end. There's a lot of description of the area around the cottage, maybe a little more than I personally needed, but I found that once I was into the book I was able to gloss over that a bit to get to the story.I liked the two time frames that ran alongside each other. I knew they were linked and I had inklings as to how, but it all unfolded gradually and the author really was quite clever in how she held back until it was just the right time to divulge all. This is a very enjoyable read about self-sufficiency, jealousy, grief, love and friendship.