Book Review: The Wayward Girls by by Amanda Mason

Their dangerous game became all too real . . .

1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there.

But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

What I Thought:

Funny goings on at a Yorkshire farm in the 1970s? Spooky knocking and possessed teenagers? Modern-day connections to Victorian ghosts? The Wayward Girls has all of this, and much, much more!

I came at the book very much from my sceptical point of view – I don’t believe in ghosts, the paranormal, the afterlife etc and felt that the blurb was describing a hoax paranormal event. Whether or not this is what you believe, or what actually occurs, Amanda Mason does a brilliant job of writing a tense, spooky ghost story that is hugely gripping.

For a story about a paranormal event, there is a great deal of domestic drama in this book. The family at Iron Sike Farm have complex relationships, among themselves and with the paranormal researchers that are trying to examine the mysterious knocking. Put this up against the long, hot summer, and you get an incredible tension throughout the book which is compelling and compulsive reading.

The Yorkshire setting deliberately brings to mind the gothic novels of the Victorian era, with the desolate nature of the moors beautifully described. As a debut novel, it’s excellent and if it’s an indicator of things to come from Amanda Mason, that’s great news…

The Wayward Girls is published by Bonnier Zaffre.

To find out more about Amanda Mason and her work, you can connect with her on Twitter.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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