Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Shadow House: Anna Downes

Title: The Shadow House
                                      Published: 4/22/2022

Pine Ridge. Create the life you want.

Alex has arrived at Pine Ridge - an ecovillage nestled high in the hills, surrounded by forests. She is determined to to make a fresh start for her and her two children, and this rural community apart from the modern world seems like the perfect place.
Beautiful. Idyllic. Safe.
But then sinister boxes start to arrive, and one by one they chip away at Alex's peace. She starts to hear stories about something awful that happened here years before, stories which sound eerily familiar.
Bones. Doll. Blood.
History looks to be repeating itself. Alex has come here to keep her children safe from harm. But in this little rural paradise, they could be in more danger than ever before.
Extraordinarily tense and deliciously mysterious, Anna Downes's The Shadow House follows one woman's desperate journey to protect her children at any cost, in a remote place where not everything is as it seems.

The cover of this book is truly what had me stop and look at this book. As I read the blurb it sounded right up my alley to read. We go back and forth between Alex and Renee and it is not confusing but I will say a bombshell hits at around 72 percent of the book. I was just like dang why did I not see that coming I should have known. 
Alex is a mom of two and is leaving a bad relationship. When she settles at Pine Ridge she is hoping to start her life over and that she is not found. It isn't very simple as her son Ollie is pushing boundaries, weird things are showing up at her house and as time goes by it seems the neighbors are talking. 
Renee is mom to Gabriel who we see is a withdrawn teenager and the life Renee is living in Pine Ridge isn't as happy as it seems. When her son ends up disappearing that changes her and we see this over the time we spend going back and forth. 
The disappearance of Gabriel goes in hand with Ollie and Alex is not going to let anything happen to her son if she can help it, but what caused this? Is it the "witch" that lives in the forest? Is it something else? 
I liked the setting of the book now the village ehhh it was kind of creepy I kept thinking this was going to turn into one of the cults that we read about. I liked that there was a resolution to everything and that it all came together nicely, there was nothing lingering. I will definitely read this author again. 

ANNA DOWNES was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. She worked as an actress before turning her attention to writing. She was shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition (2018).
The Safe Place was inspired by Anna’s experiences working as a live-in housekeeper on a remote French estate in 2009-10.