This book is one of the best things I have ever read, and I do not know why more people are not talking about it. This novel follows a family when two sisters go missing on an island and then twenty years later one of the sisters turns up the exact same age as when she vanished. This book has three narratives; it follows the witches in the past, the months leading up to the girls going missing and the narrative of when the girl is found all those years later.
This book was so different to anything I have read in the past. I loved it from the first page to the last. The thing that gripped me from the start was the atmosphere. Rainy Scotland on the coast with a strange and creepy lighthouse – what more could you ask for? It follows Liv and her three daughters after they arrive at the lighthouse only to discover that this town used to be home to witches and witch trials. After seeing a strange creature on her doorstep Liv gets sucked into the town legends of the demon children that swap places with the real children and take over their lives. However when two of her own children go missing Liv has to decide what she decides in. Meanwhile twenty years later the remaining daughter is trying to struggle her way through life when one of her sisters turns up the exact same age as when she vanished leaving them with a mystery that has been unsolved for over two hundred years.
This book is ultimately about witches and how even today witch hunts can take over peoples lives. The lighthouse is built upon the grounds where witches were killed many years ago without trial. The historical aspect of this book was so interesting to me to see how even though these witches were people within a community and had friends they could be turned on for the slightest thing even something like witchcraft. When going into this book I had no idea that Scotland had even had its own witch trials which made this book even more interesting to read.
This book encompasses fear. The fear a mother has for their children, the fear of isolation and being turned on by the people in your life, the fear of the unknown. Liv, the mother of the three girls displays that the whole way through this book and makes you feel the same fear of not knowing what is going to happen. Although I did not find this book too scary reading this at night definitely gave me the spooky atmosphere I was looking for.
One of the things I truly loved about this book was the displays of love that occurred the entire way through. The love a mother has for her children, the love of siblings and even the love of strangers. Luna the youngest sister never truly gives up looking for her sisters and that is such a special thing to read about in a book. Although Liv’s love is questionable throughout due to the decisions she makes it is clear that she loves her daughters more than anything.
This book was just like nothing I had ever read before which is why I enjoyed it so much. I loved the atmosphere, the witchy vibes and the family aspect. This book was definitely a five out of five stars. If you have not read this book yet you need to get to it as soon as possible. I can not wait to read the rest of C.J. Cooke’s books and I will hopefully enjoy them as much as I enjoyed this one.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for this review copy in return for a review!