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The story in this novel is not what I was expecting. I don’t know if it was the dark, eerie looking front cover, or the words ‘thriller’ haphazardly dotted in quotes on the cover, but I was expecting a spooky kind of tale.

Instead what I got was a beautifully written, rollercoaster ride of a story about memories of growing up.

The Winter House by Nicci Gerrard is about Marnie, Ralph, Oliver, Emma and Lucy; a mix of friends and family.

Marnie is called to the bedside of Ralph in a remote part of Scotland, days before he is feared to depart this world. Once so close, she hasn’t seen him for twenty years when the call comes through, yet to his deathbed she flies.

By his side, the story flits between the now and the past as Marnie retells of their time together and the others who had influenced much of it.

That description has not done the book justice but I don’t want to give too much of it away.

Though, like I said, it wasn’t what I had been expecting, I wasn’t left disappointed. The way in which the story was told was utterly inspiring and my emotions were taken all over the place. Nicci perfectly pinpointed descriptions about things from the past, that some of it almost felt like poetry, like in those odd moments when you’re reminded of someone that you may not have seen for a long long time and you wonder whether they still think of you from time to time, whether you’re a part of them like they are of you, and it was thought provokers like that that kept me reading on and on. By the time I realised there wasn’t going to be anything jumping out to frighten me from within the pages, I wondered why I was continuing to read it; what was it that was compelling me to keep going? But now I know it was because of Nicci’s way with words, her skill at story telling was hypnotic, and dealt with life, death, love and everything in between so eloquently that I didn’t want it to end.

But end, of course, it did, and now I am on the hunt for more Nicci Gerrad (or even Nicci French, duo partnership of Nicci Gerrard and her husband Sean French) to see me through.

Up next to read: I’m not sure yet, actually. I’m either going to go with a new one from my to be read pile or I’ll be diving into an old one that I knew I enjoyed the first time round but can’t remember what happened in it. So it’ll be a surprise for us all.

Until next time. x

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