22.12.19

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

A house full of history is bound to have secrets...Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It's also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…A hauntingly beautiful story of love and hope, from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book and The Summer of Impossible Things
Publisher: Ebury Press
Pages: 464
I have had The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman sitting on my kindle for a while and I am so pleased that I have finally got round to reading it. This book is fantastic, I could not put it down. Coleman takes the reader to Ponden Hall, the house is hundreds of years old and steeped in Bronte history. It is where Emily drew her inspiration for Wuthering Heights and she and her sisters spent a lot of time there. Trudy has not been back to Ponden for years but her childhood home calls her when she tragically loses her husband. Taking her young son Will, Trudy returns to her mother and the house that has been such a huge part of her life. As she tries to provide some stability for her devastated son, Trudy begins to sense that the house has a secret to divulge. She remembers seeing apparitions as a child and her father always told her the stories of the resident ghosts but what if these were more than purely imagination? Trudy and her mother begin to search Ponden’s many hiding places, all they know is the secret is linked to Emily Bronte and the tale she wanted to tell of one of the house’s tragic figures. 

The Girl at the Window is truly captivating, Rowan Coleman weaves her story beautifully, it almost creeps up on you and suddenly you are totally engrossed and cannot stop turning the pages. I am a huge Bronte fan and I found this aspect of the book fascinating, I loved hearing about Emily’s inspiration for Wuthering Heights and the three sisters links to Ponden Hall which I have to admit I had never heard of. I have visited the Parsonage at Howarth so I could vividly recall this when it is featured in the book but it really renewed my interest in these truly inspiring women.

I had not expected the book to be quite so spooky but I was so impressed with the way that Coleman built the tension up and there were many moments where I felt like I was holding my breath. It was so reminiscent of the atmosphere created in Wuthering Heights, I shall definitely be having a re-read again. At the heart of this story is a mystery about two women, Emily and Agnes. One known the world over and one not heard of before. Coleman expertly ties these two characters together and it was so interesting to see Trudy piecing the clues together whilst learning so much more about these two females who are a big part of her family history. 

The Girl at the Window is high up on my list of favourite books I have read this year. I will be getting a copy of The Vanished Bride which Rowan Coleman has written under the name of Bella Ellis, it is the first in a new series of Bronte mysteries and I cannot wait to read it! 

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