About this book…
In a dark, dark wood
In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.
There was a dark, dark house
Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?
I seem to have been waiting FOREVER for this book after loving the debut novel The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths. But I have to say that the wait was worth every single moment of anticipation as A Place to Lie is a wonderfully intriguing and beautifully crafted book from start to finish. There was a darkness here that I felt was reminiscent of those childhood nightmares brought on by grisly folklore tales told by children trying to scare the living daylights out of their friends! The woodland setting and the small village mentality were perfectly brought to life with a creepy atmosphere, so much so that I began to dread having to flashback to that Summer of 1990! The tension built slowly but I was kept thoroughly engaged by this coming of age journey. How did a young girl become so affected by what happened during that visit to her great aunt? And how has it lead to an estrangement from her sister and, ultimately, an extreme act that will change Jo’s life forever?
Jo actually doesn’t return to Witchwood until about 3/4 way through the narrative so there was plenty of natural movement in the characters and a gradual development of the plot during the summer of 1990 with plenty of red herrings to throw the reader off the scent. I have to admit to NOT guessing the “who” or even the “why” which really impressed me because it’s VERY hard to pull the wool over my eyes! And I was gobsmacked by that ending!! So full marks to Rebecca Griffiths for keeping me utterly enthralled for a whole afternoon to the extent that I could not physically put A Place to Lie down! But the fact that she managed to keep me in the dark until the very end with those rather shocking reveals really was the cherry on the top of the cake for me.
This was a brilliant read that could have gone down a more traditional path but instead took the twistier journey, edging along the confines of the plot until that jaw dropping denouement. I couldn’t have picked a better book to spend my Sunday afternoon with and I still get goosebumps whenever I revisit this creepy and devastating storyline in my head.
Highly recommended by me!
Meet the author…
Rebecca Griffiths grew up in rural mid-Wales and went on to gain a first class honours degree in English Literature. After a successful business career in London, Dublin and Scotland she returned to mid-Wales where she now lives with her husband, a prolific artist, their three vampiric cats as black as night, and pet sheep the size of sofas.