When I took some holiday last month, I wanted an all-absorbing, easy-read to enjoy on my days off and Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase was the perfect fit. It’s set on the Cornish coast, a.k.a my happy place, so I knew there was a high chance that I’d like it before I’d even read the first page.
A romantic and haunting mystery, Black Rabbit Hall alternates between fourteen year old Amber’s point of view in 1968 and that of bride-to-be Lorna thirty years later. In 1968 the Alton family escape from London to spend blissful school holidays at Black Rabbit Hall. Twins Toby and Amber and their two young siblings Kitty and Barney are allowed to roam free around the extensive grounds stretching all the way to the coast and play amongst the rabbits which give the house it’s enchanting name. That is until there is a tragic accident and their happy, secure lives dissolve into turmoil.
Thirty years later Lorna is searching with her fiancé for a wedding venue in Cornwall. When they come across Black Rabbit Hall, something resonates with Lorna and she sets her heart on it despite Jon’s scepticism and the fact that it’s crumbling to pieces. Desperate to find out why she feels an unexplained connection to the house, Lorna returns on her own, having been invited by Mrs Alton and her housekeeper to help market the house as a wedding venue. Whilst looking into its history she unearths dark secrets and discovers how her vague memories not only connect her to Black Rabbit Hall’s past, but could impact her future.
An intriguing family saga full of tragedy and lies, Black Rabbit Hall kept my attention all the way through. The two stories weave together to create a gothic mystery which culminates in a shocking revelation. Even if you see the twist coming, Black Rabbit Hall is worth reading for the beautiful, atmospheric descriptions which transport you to the rugged coastline of rural Cornwall. Character driven, each individual is very well developed and the lovable Alton children will capture a piece of your heart.
A compulsive read rich in detail, Black Rabbit Hall is a fantastic debut from Eve Chase. Having read it on the beach in the sunshine and indoors on a rainy day, Black Rabbit Hall is the perfect book to curl up with this summer whatever the weather!