Publisher: Head Of Zeus
Publication Date: 3rd March 2022
This novel has everything I love. When I read the blurb I got a few book tingles which is always a good sign! When it arrived I pushed the 4 other books I was currently reading aside to start this one. It only took me a couple of days to read and I was gripped!
The Marsh House by Zoë Somerville tells the dual timeline stories of two women, Malorie in the 1960’s and Rosemary in the 1930’s. The book opens with Malorie arriving at a property known as the Marsh House on the edge of a marsh in Norfolk. After discovering her husband back in London has been having fun with various other women, Malorie decides to take her 8 year old daughter to the property for Christmas and to escape her troubles at home. The marsh house was first brought to Malorie’s attention after her parents die and she is left an old photograph of the house with no further explanation.
Then we meet Rosemary, a young girl living in the house in the 1930’s with just her father. She has been told that her mother is dead but there are also rumours in the village that she is infact in an asylum. Rosemary is friendly with an old woman, Janet, who lives in a cottage close by and was the person who helped bring rosemary into the world. Janey is somewhat of a local healer, midwife and nurse with some unorthodox methods which lead to much speculation.
Rosemary gets involved with the wealthy family who own Old Hall close to the marsh house and becomes enchanted by the son of the house, Franklin.
Back in the 1960’s, Malorie is struggling to settle at the house and feels an ever growing distance opening up between her and her young daughter. Isolated in snowy weather she begins to experience some strange goings on. Seeing shadows out of the corner of her eye, hearing strange noises, seeing faces at the window and hearing unsettling music.
As Malorie’s and Rosemary’s lives begin to converge, secrets are revealed and family ties are tested.
First off I love a dual timeline! Especially when they centre around one house. I love anything creepy and foreboding with a supernatural edge. I genuinely felt unsettled reading this one before bed. Zoë Somerville perfectly depicts The Marsh House so that you can see it so clearly in your minds eye. The marsh itself is almost another character, misty, damp, cold and often treacherous.
Tracking the lives of these two woman each dealing with their issues in their own times is super compelling. Both times periods are carved out perfectly and I enjoyed being in each of them with no preference (which is always a good sign).
This book is dripping in atmosphere and gets under your skin and chills your bones, in a good way! It explores, anger, madness, family secrets the treatment of women and it’s an exploration of motherhood. It is perfect for getting under a blanket with and giving yourself the chills.
Thank you to Kathryn and Head Of Zeus for my review copy.
See you soon.