'The Ghost of Gosswater' is a perfect autumn read. Atmospheric, melancholic and totally enchanting. This is an engrossing gothic tale not to be missed!


The Lake District, 1899. Twelve-year-old Agatha's supposed father, the Earl of Gosswater Hall, is dead. Cruel Cousin Clarence has inherited everything and sets Aggie packing, to live with a humble man, who claims to be her real father, in an old cottage by the lake. Determined to understand her identity and her family's past, Aggie sets out to find the truth. But, on the last day of the century, when the clock strikes midnight, a mysterious girl of light creeps through the crack in time. And she will not rest until the dark, terrible secrets of the past have been revealed …


Lucy Strange's writing is so engrossing and such a pleasure to read. With poetic, beautiful and sometimes stark prose, Strange weaves a spellbinding tale. Aggie is a character we deeply care about. We want to understand her family's strange past as much as her. There is a nuanced balance between the bitter realities of the time and the creeping spectres of the supernatural and the past. I can't help but feel that Strange is possessed by the combined forces of, say, George Eliot and Susan Cooper. She gets the human condition, illuminating with the ghostly, while bringing unexpected warmth to the cold. Her words are like light in the dark. There are passages of pure horror, moments of kindness and joy, and a feeling of utter beauty to everything. This is first-class writing. A book to devour.


If you want a book to curl up to in the autumn - one that will mesmerize, shock and shine - then 'The Ghost of Gosswater' is for you! I think I enjoyed it even more than 'Our Castle by the Sea', which is saying something! Brilliant!


© 2021 by Chris Soul