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A terrifying story of ghosts and grief, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackon's The Haunting of Hill House and Henry James The Turn of the Screw, in award-winning author Lisa Heathfield’s first adult novel.
Clara and her younger brother Stephen are taken by their father to stay with their aunt and uncle in a remote house in the hills as their mother recovers from an accident. At first, they see it as a summer to explore. There's the train set in the basement, the walled garden with its secret graves and beyond it all the silent loch, steady and waiting.
Auntie has wanted them for so long - real children with hair to brush and arms to slip into the clothes made just for them. All those hours washing, polishing, preparing beds and pickling fruit and now Clara and Stephen are here, like a miracle, on her doorstep.
But the reality of two children – their noise, their mess, their casual cruelties – begins to overwhelm Auntie. The children begin to uncover things Auntie had thought left buried, and Clara can feel her brother slipping away from her. This hastily created new family finds itself falling apart, with terrifying consequences for them all.
Such Pretty Things is a deeply chilling and haunting story about the slow shattering nature of grief, displacement, jealousy and an overwhelming desire to love and be loved.
"A masterful modern day Gothic that is dread inducing and melancholic in equal measure, Such Pretty Things is a thoughtful rumination on the wonder and horror of grief, of what it can become. By the end, holy hell, the book is a fist that slowly closes around your heart and squeezes.
Paul Tremblay, award-winning author of Cabin at the End of the World
"A wonderfully creepy and unsettling account of the terrors of a child trapped in an uncertain adult world. The suspense grows as that world becomes increasingly untrustworthy and dangerous, resulting in the steady disintegration of normality. A terrific read."
Alison Littlewood, author of The Cold Season and The Cottingley Cuckoos
"A brutally, searingly bleak exploration of loss and grief, with finely drawn characters and lovely echoes of Turn of the Screw."
James Brogden, author of Hekla's Children