After suffering a terrible loss, Lila finds a welcome distraction when she mysteriously inherits a ramshackle lake house, and discovers cryptic notes and other memorabilia from the lives of her home's previous residents. - (Baker & Taylor)
Still grieving the death of her prematurely delivered infant, Lila finds a welcome distraction in renovating a country house she's recently inherited. Surrounded by blueprints and plaster dust, though, she finds herself drawn into the story of a group of idealistic university grads from thirty years before, who'd thrown off the shackles of bourgeois city life to claim the cottage and rely only on each other on the land. But utopia-building can be fraught with unexpected peril, and when the fate of the group is left eerily unclear, Lila turns her attention to untangling a web of secrets to uncover the shocking truth of what happened that fateful year, in order to come to terms with her own loss and build a new future for herself.
Suspenseful and moving, with a deep secret at its heart, THE SHADOW YEAR is Hannah Richell's breakout book. - (Grand Central Pub)
On a hot summer day in 1980, a group of friends travel to England's Peak District and discover an abandoned lakeside cottage. They decide to embark on an experiment to stay in the cottage for one year and live off the land. Fast-forward 30 years. Lila Bailey, a London decorator mourning the death of her infant daughter, receives a mysterious package in the mail containing the deed to the property. Told by different narrators in alternating chapters, Richell's latest novel follows the lives of the original group of friends and the ongoing drama of their isolated communal lives while also following Lila as she throws herself into cottage renovations and discovers the healing powers of living among the beauty and simplicity of nature. Richell, whose House of Tides (2010) was shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, has written an absorbing, deeply satisfying novel examining the relationships that make up our lives and what happens when the best intentions go deeply astray. Beautifully written and skillfully woven, this is a compelling tale of tragedy and forgiveness. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.