The Beloved Girls By Harriet Evans
‘The Beloved Girls’ is the latest book by Harriet Evans.
Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind? The answer lies buried in the past. It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes – a mysterious West Country manor house – where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present.
When it comes to twisted stories about family secrets and betrayals, Harriet is up there with delivering some of the best.
Her latest book, is a rollercoaster of drama set over many decades after a terrible tragedy occurs leaving a small town in shock. And many years later Catherine, one of the people left behind suddenly disappears when old memories start to resurface.
When Harriet writes a book, she really writes a book! At 448 pages, it’s long but it’s engaging with regular twists and shocks that keeps the reader pulled in.
The characters are a fascinating mix, as we meet Catherine, a successful barrister, who’s lost a big case she feels an immense pressure on herself but is distracted by the upcoming anniversary of the tragedy.
The story is written in the past and present tense through the perspectives of Catherine, Janey and Simon. Catherine is the present whilst Janey and Simon are from the past. The past moments make for fascinating reading as Janey is introduced to a strange family with an obsession with rituals and bees which all makes for sinister but completely compelling reading. Simon’s narrative is from, during the 1950’s as he tries to overcome the horrors that he witnessed at the end of the WW2.
This story instantly pulled me in, from the ritualistic wordings that had such creepy undertones to them to the Hunter family, all flawed, fascinating and Janey was drawn to all of them.
Harriet has written an intoxicating story that is cleverly crafted with deceit, love and drama weaved through each page. A book that grabbed my attention throughout ‘The Beloved Girls’ is a dark and observational story about female relationships and is such an addictive story, that once you’re in, you’ll never get out!
You can buy ‘The Beloved Girls’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.