Dear Book-Loving Friend,
With just the right mix of twisty surprises and good old fashioned human drama, our May book club selection is the perfect jumping off point to summer reading. In THE SHADOW YEAR by Hannah Richell a group of college students venture upon a remote hideaway and decide to it claim for themselves, carving out an existence apart from the real world. But over the course of one summer, the real world theyâ€™ve worked so hard to escape begins to intrude upon their utopia, and each of their lives are changed forever as a result. Thirty years later a grieving young woman inherits the house, and the mystery that lies within its walls is slowly uncovered as she renovates the home. Suspenseful. Moving. Clever. THE SHADOW YEAR is the perfect book to kick off your summer reading binge. Make sure you grab your copy today.
We're giving away five copies of THE SHADOW YEAR thanks to the kind folks at Grand Central Publishers.
Stories always come alive when discussed by the author themselves so we asked Hannah Richell to share a few words with you about THE SHADOW YEAR (see below).
Ariel (on behalf of the She Reads team)
A Note from Hannah Richell:
Have you ever wanted to throw off the frenzied pace of modern life and return to a simpler way of living? Perhaps itâ€™s no surprise that as a mom blessed with two young kids and a career, this idea really appeals to me. It is also an idea that appeals to the characters in The Shadow Year, a novel in which a group of college graduates stumble upon an abandoned cottage and decide to attempt a year of living self-sufficiently. They set out with high ideals but as the seasons change, life in the cottage begins to sour and their experiment soon descends into darkness and despair.
From the initial spark of the idea, The Shadow Year proved to be an intriguing book to write. Having grown-up in rural England (but since absconded for Australia), it was a joy to retread the landscape of my youth. The back-to-basics existence my characters try to live often leaves them at the mercy of the elements and as I wrote, I found the plot forming quite organically, influenced by the cyclical nature of a year and its shifting seasons. I also found specific themes and motifs emerging and repeating. One of these was a plant I remembered from my own childhood â€“ Lunaria or â€˜honestyâ€™ as itâ€™s also known. It was quite fashionable, I think, in the late â€™70s and early â€™80s to display the dried seed heads of the plant and these same pods become, in my novel, a symbol for the fragility of the life the graduates try to live. I was utterly thrilled to see the same plant gracing the cover of my novel when my publisher first sent the design through.
The Shadow Year, although a dark and twisty book, really was a joy to write and Iâ€™m delighted it may find new readers through the vibrant She Reads community. If you choose to read my novel, I wish you as much pleasure in the reading as it brought me in the writing.