I have a big weak spot for a really good family sagas and this was one of the best that I have read in a long time. I curled up outside in the sunshine, hid from the view of my kids and devoured this book in two sittings.
The setting of Echo Hall is glorious and this old historical building is everything I hoped it would be and more. Phoebe is paying a visit to the now tourist attraction and as she gazes around the roped off rooms she shivers and is glad that despite being born in this house she did not have to grow up in the sad old building that has housed nothing but pain and heartbreak.
The story then takes us back through the years. We learn how her parents met, how they ended up moving to live in the house, despite her mother Ruth’s unease. Ruth was grieving for her mother when she met Adam and a holiday romance ensued but Adam moved away and when Ruth found herself pregancy she was lost but out of the blue Adam returned to her life and they packed up and moved in with his Grandfather, the formidable Jack Flint and his housekeeper Mrs Davies. Did Adam really have an ulterior motive for marrying Ruth and bringing her to this imposing house?
Ruth struggled to accept the new way of life and the ghostly visions she encountered left her unsettled. A room in the house was locked up and out of bounds but Ruth needed to uncover the truth. Finding a way to get access she is intrigued with the treasures that she finds but Adam and Jack both find out about her sneaking around and they are non too happy.
However, the birth of Phoebe brings a softness to Jack and it’s not long before the history and the secrets of the family are unpicked. The Flint family has a bleak past with secrets, lies, loss and grief at the very heart but aside from all this is a very heartwarming tale and maybe now the ghosts of the past can be left to rest.
I loved the way this author travelled through the ages and we met the characters going back as far as World I. Each of the era’s was written pretty much standalone but it all tied up nicely at the end. The setting was fabulous and the author’s use of letters within the text really helped me to know the characters inside out and my heart was broken in places and joyous in others. This book had it all.
Many thanks for Emma Welton at damppebbles blog tours and the author for allowing me a copy of this amazing book.
Set against the backdrop of three wars – the 1991 Gulf War, World War 2 and World War 1 – the novel follows the fortunes of three women who become involved with the Flint family, the owners of Echo Hall.
Phoebe Flint visits Echo Hall in 2014, where she follows in her mother’s footsteps to uncover the stories of a house ‘full of unhappy women, and bitter, angry men’.
Ruth Flint arrives at Echo Hall in 1990 – newlywed, pregnant, and uncertain of her relationship with her husband, Adam. Ghostly encounters, a locked door, and a set of photographs pique her curiosity. But Adam and his grandfather refuse to let her investigate. And her marriage is further strained, when Adam, a reservist, is called up to fight in the Gulf War.
In 1942, Elsie Flint is already living at Echo Hall with her children, the guest of her unsympathetic in-laws, whilst her husband Jack is away with the RAF. Her only friend is Jack’s cousin Daniel, but Daniel is hiding secrets, which when revealed could destroy their friendship for good.
Rachel and Leah Walters meet Jacob Flint at a dinner party in 1911. Whilst Leah is drawn to Jacob, Rachel rejects him leading to conflict with her sister that will reverberate through the generations.
As Ruth discovers the secrets of Echo Hall, she is able to finally bring peace to the Flint family, and in doing so, discover what she really needs and wants.
Echo Hall is a novel about the past, but it is very much a novel of the now. Does history always have to repeat itself, or can we find another way?
About the Author
Virginia Moffatt was born in London, one of eight children, several of whom are writers. ‘The Wave’ is her second novel. Her previous publications are ‘Echo Hall’ (Unbound) and ‘Rapture and what comes after’ (Flash fiction collection published by Gumbo Press). She also writes non fiction. Virginia is married to Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars UK. They have two daughters at University and a son still living with them in Oxford.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ggdZxJ
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39IOFOn
Published in paperback, audio and digital formats by Unbound on 28th November 2017