A house built high on the moor,
A golden age, ended by war,
A house left empty, falling to ruin.
During the Edwardian period, the wealthy Kearleys entertained important guests at their summer home on the moors; enjoying lavish parties showcasing the house and its views of the mountains.
By the 1950s the house is falling apart, assailed by bleak winds on its moorland summit, and the last family to live there are preparing to move out. Their plans are stalled when, during a snowstorm, their youngest child, Alis, goes missing. Her siblings know more than they are letting on and try to keep their sister’s disappearance secret.
They must search for Alis in the ‘other-house’, the dark and empty part of the mansion, and it is here that they will find mysterious remnants of the original family.
Gwylfa Hiraethog, was built and rebuilt in North Wales, between 1898–1913, and derelict by the 1950s. This is the story of the first and last families to live at the house, the rise and fall of a golden age, and the onset of war and decline; played out against the backdrop of the house on the hill.
My Favourite Quotes:
“It’s that child again, her fingers picking away at anything cracked or loose. She’s a small creature with spider-like curls squashed against her crown by the wool hat she wears.”
“The murky threads of a dream hang about me, demanding to be remembered. For a few minutes I succumb.”
“I have often thought that houses have faces, though not always friendly. I think of Gwylfa’s face as one that watches with an impenetrable and indifferent wisdom.”
“We don’t have to live our lives always for other people.”
“‘Alis, sometimes people see things differently. We all think we’re telling some sort of truth, but maybe the truth is something non of us know. I mean the real truth.'”
**I am stopping here although there are SOOO many more quotes I have written down.**
Have you ever read a book’s first sentence, first paragraph, first chapter and just knew this author was special? I felt this way about House Under the Hill by Rachel V. Knox.
I stumbled on Rachel V. Knox after she commented on one of my blog posts and all I can say is how thankful I am to you Rachel for commenting on my post. The words she wrote compelled me to want to read something she had written so I found myself on her website and reading the first chapter of House Under the Hill. This first chapter had me so encapsulated that I wanted, no needed to read more. I was so lucky to have Rachel send me a copy of her amazing novel.
One of my favourite parts of the novel is how one of the character viewpoints is from the house itself which makes you fall even deeper in love with the story. The characters are complex and I love how the past and present is so interwoven through the walls of this great house and the characters who won’t bow down to the winds within their own lives which try to tear through them.
There is such art in the words of Rachel V. Knox. I felt like I was transported into the novel and I have never wanted to visit a place as much as I want to visit Wales and the site where Gwylfa Hiraethog stands. Any of you dear readers who read this and want to go please let me know so I can come! I could gush on and on about this amazing novel, but will control myself and just say please read it dear readers!
I heart House Under the Hill this much:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ !!
***Copy received from author in exchange for an honest review***