July’s Recommended Reads

My recent reads have been a mixture of fiction and non-fiction for various festivals but I’ve managed to sneak in two books I’ve been dying to read for a while.

In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey is a creepy, unusual read set in the the Yorkshire countryside. Charles and Erin Hayden are mourning the loss of their young daughter, wrapped in grief and recriminations. Newly arrived from the States, they take up residency in Hollow House which Erin has inherited from her distant relative, Caedmon Hollow. Erin retreats into an alcohol and drug haze while Charles becomes increasingly drawn to the history of the house. An interesting story with a dark theme Bailey portrays the mistrust and blame that follows an unexpected death.

The Vanished Bride is a historical novel featuring the three Bronte sisters, by Rowan Coleman written under the pseudonym of Bella Ellis, a play, of course on the moniker used by Emily to initially publish her books. Emily, Charlotte and Anne are back under the same roof for the first time in years. Charlotte is recovering from her unhappy love affair with the married Monsieur Heger and Anne has been forced to leave her last employment because of Branwell’s affair with the lady of the house. When a married woman goes missing in the nearby town of Arunton, leaving behind a bloodied chamber, the three sisters, aided by Branwell decide to investigate.

The novel is told from the points of view of the three sisters and, interestingly, it is Anne who comes across as the most forceful. Coleman has done her research and  references the sisters’ past and family life at Haworth parsonage. As Coleman says, there’s no evidence that the sisters investigated a crime but then there’s no evidence that they didn’t. I think Coleman, or rather Bella Ellis might be on to a winner here so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the book. You have a while to wait though. The Vanished Bride is out on ebook on the 12th September and hardback in November.