Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin.
About the Author
arol Lovekin is the author of three novels published by Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press. She writes about mother/daughter relationships, family dynamics & her stories are rooted in the Welsh landscape. They touch on the Welsh Gothic & its most powerful motif: the ghost.
Her first novel, Ghostbird (2016) was a Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month, a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2016 & in the same year was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize. Snow Sisters (2017), her second novel, was chosen by the Welsh Books Council as their October Book of the Month (for independent shops.) Her third novel, Wild Spinning Girls is published today.
About the book
If it wasn’t haunted before she came to live there, after she died, Ty’r Cwmwl made room for her ghost. She brought magic with her.
And the house, having held its breath for years, knew it. Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets out for the Welsh house her father has left her. Ty’r Cwmwl is not at all welcoming despite the fact it looks inhabited, as if someone just left..
It is being cared for as a shrine by the daughter of the last tenant. Determined to scare off her old home’s new landlord, Heather Esyllt Morgan sides with the birds who terrify Ida and plots to evict her. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.
Inheriting a house in an isolated area in Wales is one thing, inheriting a house that comes with a built-in ghost and a slightly crazy young girl with a key for every door, is quite another. At first Ida thinks it is amusing and swipes the constant presence of Heather away like she is swatting a fly, but when Heather appears determined to frighten and threaten her – Ida’s resolution to stay and make the place her home starts to waver.
Ida is torn between being annoyed at the constant intrusion into her life and worrying about the young girl who at this point is worse than a squatter. Heather insists Ida can’t move or change anything let alone touch anything that belonged to her mother. Her sense of loss and grief is palpable. It makes her erratic and often volatile.
Where Heather is comfortable with the quirkyness of the house and surrounding countryside, Ida feels threatened and is often scared by the odd things that happen in the house. Pretty sure the birds have been watching Hitchcock. Just saying.
It’s magical realism and literary fiction with a pinch of women’s empowerment. Lovekin, who tells a great tale by the way, reminds us how important it is to support instead of judge and ignore. To listen instead of assume, because sometimes the hardest exterior hides the most frightened of hearts.
It’s a lovely read. A breath of the unknown – witchcraft, energy and an aura of something watching and controlling the fate of others.