The Animals at Lockwood Manor
by Jane Healey
Championed by Lorna Holland at The Writing Greyhound
Mantle (March 20)
Rarely seen without a book or a cup of tea (often both), I live in Northamptonshire with my fiancé and our two cats. I started blogging in 2013 while I was at university and haven’t stopped since! I read widely, with my favourite genres ranging from historical to urban fantasy and Young Adult fiction. Reading and writing have always been two of my biggest passions and I firmly believe that you can never have too many books!
“From the gorgeous cover to the intriguing storyline, beautiful prose, and spine-tingling Gothic atmosphere, The Animals at Lockwood Manor is a delight from start to finish. It’s evocative and atmospheric in all the right places, combining the best of classic Gothic literature with a more contemporary-style romance.”
The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey
From the gorgeous cover to the intriguing storyline, beautiful prose, and spine-tingling Gothic atmosphere, The Animals at Lockwood Manor is a delight from start to finish.
The book features a number of references from classic Gothic literature – think Jane Eyre, The Woman in White, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights – and it is clear that Healey has drawn significant influence from these much-loved works. The result is a story which pays homage to the greats while still holding its own amongst contemporary fiction.
The narrative is shared by Hettie and Lucy, a fact which highlights their similarities despite the obvious differences in class, wealth, and social status. Both women are flawed yet endearing, and as the story progresses, more of their personalities are shown. This inherent likeability helps to keep the reader on their side as Hettie, in particular, faces up against Lord Lockwood and all he represents.
The relationship between Hettie and Lucy is sweet yet slow-growing. The two complement each another perfectly, and this most unlikely pairing is made all the better by their complete acceptance of the other’s flaws. It’s clear from their very first meeting that they will become firm friends, yet following their journey makes for a lovely read and is the perfect contrast to the creeping Gothic horror element of the book.
Lockwood Manor itself is the ideal setting for a Gothic story of this nature. Dark and brooding, the building sits imposingly over the landscape and is described so beautifully that you can almost picture yourself walking the long hallways of the manor. This gives the building its own sense of character; a looming presence that is a constant backdrop to every page.
Healey’s wonderfully rich prose is the icing on the cake for this book. Each chapter is full of vivid imagery and striking descriptions which really bring the plot to life. At times, the prose becomes almost whimsical, following a thread of beautiful language and outstanding storytelling. The result is an unforgettable debut from an author surely destined for a great literary career.