My husband recently bought me Kindle book reader and he loaded it with ten books about shipwrecks and the Titanic! This was his oh-so funny joke before we set off on a two week med cruise! Haha.
Among the books was this one, called Challerton, by a writer Ive never heard of.
With it already loaded on the reader I had no idea what to expect and had no idea of the story.
I loved it.
I read it in a day and a half, and found myself captivated by the main character and her strange journey. I can't say too much of what happens to her, but suffice say it is life changing.
The main character is called Anne and the tale revolves around her discovery of an old nightdress, hidden beneath a panel in her bedroom in a house her family is renovating. The nightdress, when she dares wear it, opens up the past of the house. In the spookiest part of the story, she hears strange noises and footsteps and almost thinks she is going mad. When feeling brave, she opens a door and, in a thoroughly lovely scene, discovers the old house on a moonlit night. She does not know it at the time, but she is exploring the house as it was a century earlier. She returns each night and soon encounters and becomes friends with the quiet and lonely daughter of the family. Then she discovers they are to sail on the Titanic the following week. Anne makes it her goal to stop them and this is what opens up the rest of the story as a consequence.
I found the book imaginative and touching, funny in many places, and I loved the play between the two women and their very different worlds. I loved the bit when Anne introduces Lydia to modern sweets and pizza! And another section, involving Lydia first seeing a computer, had me blubbing with the picture it built. The author paints an atmospheric picture of Edwardian life and the modern world of a ruined old country house. He mentions the smells, sounds and sensations a lot, making it quite a sensual read.
This is one of those nice finds that probably should be better known.
As far as I know, the book is only available in ebook form. There is no mention of a print copy on the Amazon page.