Abigale Hall: A Novel

Abigale Hall: A Novel

by Lauren A. Forry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510717268
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 1,278,678
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Lauren A. Forry was brought up in Pennsylvania before living in the woods outside of London. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Kingston University. There she was awarded the Faber and Faber Creative Writing MA Prize for her thesis work, Abigale Hall. Her short stories have since been published by Brick Moon Fiction, Lamplight magazine, and other sci-fi and horror anthologies. She currently resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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Abigale Hall: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Myndia More than 1 year ago
After having survived World War II and the death of their parents, Rebecca and Eliza are shipped off by their aunt, forced to work as domestics in a creepy old house in Wales, far away from everything they know and the few people they love. To make matters worse, there is something off in the house and the little village that surrounds it. The young girls who have served as domestics have either died or disappeared over the years. The townsfolk tell stories of the house being haunted, living in fear of all who live there. What happened to the previous girls and what will happen to them? Is the house truly haunted or is something more nefarious at work? Almost immediately, I thought of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. No denying the story’s gothic feel, and that is certainly a selling point for me. I’m a sucker for a good gothic mystery. And this definitely qualifies as good. Not Rebecca or Wuthering Heights good, but good. My favorite parts of the book: the backstory and build up of tension were excellent, and the ending was not what I expected. As the story progresses, we learn more and more about the girl’s earlier lives, how their father died, why they ended up in their aunt’s care, and how she came to be so changed. The web that is weaved is particularly complex and compelling and more than once I found myself wondering if my assumptions were anywhere near the truth. Until the very end, I never had a full handle on the full nature of the mystery – in some cases I knew a who (or two), but not the why. I love it when I don’t get it. My least favorite parts of the book: while the ending came at the right time (I was on the edge of feeling like I was ready for it to be over), it unraveled all of a sudden, and somehow, all that tension spilled away like a knocked over glass of milk. The dark drama that is part and parcel of gothic mystery suddenly felt a bit like a caricature. However, once the primary mystery was solved, the appropriate mood was restored and the story ended on the right note. Overall, a really enjoyable read, and a great reminder of how much I love gothic as a genre. Making a note to reread Rebecca and Wuthering Heights and find the latest and greatest in gothic right now… Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Edelweiss. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
metacritic More than 1 year ago
This not your typical gothic mystery. There are some very sadistic characters as well as some complicated and flawed good ones. The house is genuinely creepy-it kind of makes your skin crawl. I also liked the descriptions of how hard life was in London even after World War II. The suspense was nicely sustained up to the last few pages and the ending was unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pika_ More than 1 year ago
The setting, mood and pacing of this book bring up the same feeling and atmosphere of classics like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Lewis Carol’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s a well written read but as I was reading I figured it wasn’t one I’d want to keep in my home library for rereading so I planned to mail it to my sister when I finished. That all changed with the sudden back to back action at the end of the book. These were not shock effect sudden twists that came out of nowhere. I don’t think you need to be a profiler or psychotherapist to have seen that these actions were completely within character for this individuals in question. The question all along wasn’t so much if a certain character was capable of such an act but when it would occur and if we would see it in this book. And the very last image we are left with is so chilling and shiver inducing that if you aren’t left with a creepy feeling of horrified foreboding you might want to seek out on of those affore mentioned profilers/psychotherapists for some timely treatment. It’s rare to find a book or movie that really gives you the shivers but the well built journey to the end of this one delivers just that. Turns out it is going on my bookshelf so I can reread it some years in the future to re-experience those shivers!!!
JamesJohnCudneyIV More than 1 year ago
3 stars to Lauren A. Forry's Abigale Hall, a mystery and suspense novel I received via NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to both for this opportunity, as I enjoyed the book and have posted a review below. Story Rebecca, 12, and Eliza, 17, are orphaned sisters in 1940's London shortly after the end of WWII, their mother dying from the German Blitz and their father committing suicide after several issues post-war. The girls were awarded to their Aunt Bess, who could barely afford to keep herself above water due to a gambling problem. When she can't take it anymore, Bess sells them to an elderly man in Wales who needs help around his estate. Rebecca seems to suffer from some emotional problems and needs constant supervision, while Eliza was hoping for a proposal from Peter. Eliza could live on her own, but won't let her sister be alone; and then they are both forced to leave without any notification to any friends. When the sisters arrive, they are taken to Mrs. Pollard who runs the estate; however, both girls quickly learn they will be mistreated far worse than they had been by their Aunt Bess. Eliza begins to hear stories about several missing girls over the last 30 years -- who once worked at the estate -- but vanished under mysterious circumstances. As Eliza looks out for Rebecca, Rebecca begins to grow more sick and is eventually taken away by Mrs. Pollard to the hospital to get better. Eliza finally meets the master, Mr. Brownewell, who comes from a long line of very peculiar men; however, he seems to carry his own tarnish, as the townspeople suspect he killed his fiancee nearly 30 years ago when he thought she was looking at another man in the wrong way. Eliza tries to keep things status quo as she searches for the answers, but soon discovers she cannot trust anyone. Eliza also begins to hear and see the ghost of Victoria, Mr. Brownewell's late fiancee, roaming the halls, claiming to have stolen all the missing girls. Meanwhile, Peter realizes that Eliza has been kidnapped and tries to find her, but many people -- all caught up in the macabre game being played -- stand in his way, nearly killing him a few times. When he finally finds Eliza, he steps right into a trap set by the villain behind the entire Gothic horror. But who is it? And who will survive... Strengths The characters are vivid and intense. And there aren't a tremendous amount of them, which certainly helps make it a good story. You've got Eliza and Rebecca who are the sisters dealing with the situation. Their Aunt Bess plays a role in the send off to Wales. Peter is chasing after Eliza. Peter's got 3 or 4 people he interacts with on his search. And in Abigale Hall, there are 3 or 4 characters who help run the estate. Plus the ghost or not-so-dead Victoria (you will have to read to find out)! The estate, Thornecroft, is a beautiful setting but has a ruthless charm about it. Abigale Hall is one of the main rooms / areas, well described, but keeps you guessing whether it's a good or a bad place to be. The concept of ghosts is used intricately and constantly keeps readers wondering whether or not the characters are loopy or really seeing what they think they are seeing. It helps you stay focused and want to keep reading each chapter to figure it out. Suggestions I thought the book was a little longer than it needed to be. It wasn't repetitive, but at times it felt a little too