Frost Hollow Hall - Emma Carroll

Genre: Mystery/Paranormal/Middle Grade/Historical Fiction
Synopsis: Tilly's heart sinks. Will's at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington's ghost. Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall.  


Review: Ooooh how I loved reading this! I was looking for something supernatural and wintry and this absolutely fit the mold perfectly. It's a young adult novel, so as historical fiction goes, it is very easy to read and not too dense. I do love a ghost story set in Winter - there's something so cosy about curling up in the warm and reading a book like this in the period between Halloween and Christmas.

What I loved most about this novel is that, although it is YA, it does not pander. The main story revolves around Tilly attempting to uncover the long-held secrets at Frost Hollow Hall, supplemented with the subplots of what did happen 10 years ago at the house, and another regarding Tilly's mother, father and sister. Naturally, following the death of a young man, there is going to be some sadness in the story, and what I love is that the story is complex, full of tragedy, guilt, and regrets - but nothing black and white, no obvious rights and wrongs, only actions and their irrevocable, sometimes tragic consequences. The reality of this is paralleled with some poignancy in the story of Tilly's family.

I loved the characters - Tilly is not flawless, Will is a likeable rogue, Gracie will elicit protectiveness in the reader. Kit perhaps could have had a little more personality to him, but he is also dead, so I'll forgive him that (!). The writing beautifully captures the feel of a Victorian winter ghost story, and I think I've said all I need to about the story itself. If this sounds like it *might* be your kind of thing based on what I've said, you should definitely pick it up. Well worth reading.

Rating: 4/5

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