The Whispering House
With a compelling narrator, absorbing atmosphere, and loads of literary references, this modern gothic novel is a stunner. While attending her cousin’s wedding in the gardens of Byrne Hall, a drunken Freya can’t resist stumbling into the off-limits house to investigate. When she ducks inside she discovers a startling portrait on display: it looks just like her sister Stella, who, years before, died mere miles from the historic seaside grounds. Once safely home in London, Freya can’t get the house—or its portrait—out of her head. When she returns to investigate, she gets tangled up with the residing family and their eerie house—and the consequences could be disastrous. Read this if you love a brooding character study or a slower-paced mystery with a strong sense of place. (Content warnings include suicide and abuse.)
“Eerie and addictive….. Like Wuthering Heights, The Whispering House is a melancholy novel, its characters filled with dark longings.” — The New York Times Book Review
From the acclaimed author of The Orphan of Salt Winds
It was like holding a couple of jigsaw pieces in my palm, knowing there was a whole picture to be made, if I could only find the rest.
Freya Lyell is struggling to move on from her sister Stella’s death five years ago. Visiting the bewitching Byrne Hall, only a few miles from the scene of the tragedy, she discovers a portrait of Stella—a portrait she had no idea existed, in a house Stella never set foot in. Or so she thought.
Driven to find out more about her sister’s secrets, Freya is drawn into the world of Byrne Hall and its owners: charismatic artist Cory and his sinister, watchful mother. But as Freya lingers in this mysterious, centuries-old house, her relationship with Cory crosses the line into obsession and the darkness behind the locked doors of the estate threatens to spill out.
In prose as lush and atmospheric as Byrne Hall itself, Elizabeth Brooks weaves a simmering, propulsive tale of art, sisterhood, and all-consuming love: the ways it can lead us toward tenderness, nostalgia, and longing, as well as shocking acts of violence.