The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
From the present day . . .
Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.
to the fifties . . .
When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter Audrey five years before. The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn.
Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?
I loved everything about this book the setting, the story, the characters, the house.
The writing is beautiful and instantly transported me to the present day Cotswolds and back to the summer of 1959, so full of nostalgia but also something dark and mysterious.
The 1959 story is told by Margot the second youngest and plainest of the sisters and the closest to Audrey. She desperately wants to finds out what happened to her cousin and asks the awkward question that nobody wants to vocalise. Having sisters myself, I loved the Wilde girls’ relationships, the closeness and teasing and yearned for my carefree childhood days with my siblings.
The present-day storyline is full of tension in a different way. Jessie and her blended family want to make a fresh start in the countryside, getting away from the stresses and strains of life in London. The tense atmosphere between Jessie and her stepdaughter Bella came across really well as the story took a more menacing turn at times. Is there something malevolent in the house or is it all in Jessie’s imagination?
This isn’t a dramatic novel, although there are moments filled with drama, but one that slowly builds revealing it’s secrets through undulating twists and turns right up until the end, with a very satisfying ending.
This is one of my favourite books this year. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy books about family relationships and family secrets. This is my first book by Eve chase and it certainly won’t be my last.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Michael Joseph for my complimentary digital copy.