Release Date: September 16th 2021
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
When well-to-do Hester learns of her sister Mercy’s death at a Nottinghamshire workhouse, she travels to Southwell to find out how her sister ended up at such a place.
Haunted by her sister’s ghost, Hester sets out to uncover the truth, when the official story reported by the workhouse master proves to be untrue. Mercy was pregnant – both her and the baby are said to be dead of cholera, but the workhouse hasn’t had an outbreak for years.
Hester discovers a strange trend in the workhouse of children going missing. One woman tells her about the Pale Lady, a ghostly figure that steals babies in the night. Is this lady a myth or is something more sinister afoot at the Southwell poorhouse?
As Hester investigates, she uncovers a conspiracy, one that someone is determined to keep a secret, no matter the cost…
The Shadowing is the latest novel from Rhiannon Ward and this compelling tale follows Hester, a young woman who learns of her sister’s death in a workhouse. Determined to find out how her sister ended up in such a place, Hester travels to Southwell for answers. Hester is told her sister was pregnant and that they both died of cholera, despite there being no outbreak at the workhouse. Hester soon learns of children going missing from the workhouse, and a sinister pale lady who takes them. Hester must uncover what’s really going on in order to find out what really happened to her sister, but will she be strong enough to discover the truth?
The Shadowing is a dark and creeping story, full of atmosphere and tension. I was immediately hooked on this story and ended up reading it in one sitting. I really enjoyed Ward’s engaging writing style and whilst this is my first book from the author it definitely won’t be my last. I loved the mix of historical fiction and paranormal in this story and the mystery and suspense kept me turning pages because I had to know how it was going to end.
Hester is a really fascinating protagonist and I enjoyed seeing her delve deeper and deeper into the mystery. She’s a determined woman and her shadowings were really interesting. The Shadowing is a haunting story, with a strong sense of atmosphere and unease. The Pale Lady in particular fascinated me and the horror of the workhouse really came to life in the story.
The Shadowing is a book that’s hard to put down. If you’re looking for a tense and spooky Gothic tale to keep you hooked this autumn, this one is definitely worth checking out.