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Book Review | The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas

We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts about The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas.

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Book cover for The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas.  Large black gates open to a snowy ground with buildings in the distance.  A girl with dark hair and red coat is walking towards the buildings
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097BB3WSZ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Boldwood Books (12 Oct. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3540 KB

A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

Book Review

This story is told via two timelines – 1903 and 1993.

In 1903 it tells the story of Emma, a nurse in an asylum called All Hallows, who is tasked with looking after a little girl, Harriet, who was found abandoned on a fishing boat with her badly beaten mother. As her mother lays in a coma she is sent away along with Emma into the attic at All Hallows, far away from her mother. 

In 1993, we read about Lewis, who has been sent to All Hallows, now a boarding school. He begins to hear and see some strange things along with his friend Isak. They can hear the rocking of a chair and a child crying and it becomes obvious to them that there is some sort of paranormal presence trying to communicate, pleading for help to uncover a mystery decades old.  They discover that there was an adult and child locked away there years before. Can they do something to help the poor tortured souls trapped in that room?

The Room in the Attic is a dark, gothic and atmospheric story, jam-packed full of intrigue and interest. It’s eerie and utterly absorbing.

This story is breathtaking and I was glued all the way through such is the excellent writing and the way it draws you in.

I forgot where I was while I was reading and was shocked at the treatment of patients in the asylum which was brutal at times.

The element of the paranormal interested me greatly as I love anything remotely to do with ghosts and the unexplained.

I read this before bed for a few nights and I must admit I did lie awake listening out for any strange noises!

This is a five star read for me, gripping from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read the author’s next book. 

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Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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