Thank you so much to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for inviting me onto the Blog Tour of this beautifully astounding novel. The proof is beautiful and a delight to read!
In the hushed hours of the night a woman is taken by the sea. Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in? In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall. Each is looking to escape her past. But one of them is not there by choice. As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface. And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .
In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?’
What an utterly fabulous piece of historical fiction. Kate has written such beautiful prose that leaves you breathless. It leaves you wanting to know more. It leaves you needing to read on…
The story follows a group of women; Diana, Rose, Jane and Eleanor, all of whom are very different and have their own dramas. We watch them unfold as characters, we see them all hiding something deep inside of them, and the one thing they all appear to have in common is that they have had a traumatic past.
Kate is so creative when it comes to building on her scenes and characters. She takes the simple idea of War and people fleeing from it, throws in a mesmerising Cornish country house named Penhallow Hall, and gives the novel an air of mystery, a heart hammering storyline and a place you will not forget.
The novel begins on the night Diana goes missing, and then we are thrown back in time to the beginning of the events that took place leading up to her disappearance. A body has been swept at sea, but who is it?! I loved the snippets of Diana’s diary entries, it gives you a real feel for her as a character, and actually how unlikeable she is.
Using Cornwall as a location is perfect for this tale; the descriptions are sublime and Kate really helps you to visualise the place and settings. Tense moments are added and dark secrets begin to present themselves which adds real character to the story.
If you are a lover of ‘whodunnit’ historical fiction, or fancy trying something new, then The Stranger is definitely for you!