The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the word-of-mouth folk tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857, the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and the crofters are suspicious and hostile, claiming they no longer know their stories. Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters tell her that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl has disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the spirits of the unforgiven dead. Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but then she is reminded of her own mother, a Skye woman who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. It seems there is a link to be explored, and Audrey may uncover just what her family have been hiding from her all these years.
Take the Isle of Skye in the Highlands of Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century.
Add a curious young woman with a deep love of folklore and fairy tales.
Throw in the body of a girl, her eyes eaten out by birds.
Add a lame old woman with haunted eyes, a young man struggling to find his way in the world, and a laird, a doctor, and a minister who all put their own comfort and desires above the needs of others.
Stir in mist, rain, wind and mud. Add a hefty dollop of secrets and lies. Then deliver it all with pace, style and verve.
The perfect book for me!
This eerie and atmospheric historical mystery by Anna Mazzola has been justifiably compared to Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites and Beth Underdown’s The Witch Finder’s Sister, two books I absolutely adored. I loved it!
You might also like to read my review of The Last Balfour by Cate Duggan: