Hiding from the Light
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Hiding from the Light

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  960 ratings  ·  59 reviews

From the three million copy bestselling author of Lady of Hay comes the big new novel by the bestselling author of WHISPERS IN THE SAND is a gripping tale of witchcraft and romance, past and present, as her modern-day characters are caught up in a battle that has been raging for hundreds of years.

The parish of Manningtree and Mistley has a dark history. In 1644, with Engla

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Published April 7th 2003 by HarperCollins (first published 2002)
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Misfit
Yes, there are ghosties and beasties and things that go bump in the night! What fun! Safe to read at home, but if I was staying at a hotel/home/building that was reputed to be haunted, I'd save this one for later. It took a good couple of hundred pages to set the scenes and the characters, but then things took off and I couldn't put the book down. In some ways I can see cutting some of those characters and still keep the main story, but I loved the whole book anyway.

Don't let the page count det...more
Joanne
Perfect autumn reading as the suspense and frightening nightmares of a past witch hunt escalates as Halloween approaches. Barbara Erskine really knows how to weave a spell that has you warily watching for shadows as you read!
Janine
As is Erskine's trait, she interweaves the past with the present - though not as cleverly as in previous books, in my opinion. I got frustrated with the characters and found the ending way too far-fetched. Not one of her best.
Linda
Another one from the borrow box at work...

The author depended too much on stereotypes for character building, and some of the spookiness was cheesey and overdone. However, the story was liberally sprinkled with skeptics, and everything that occurred had alternate human or natural explanations. The skeptics in the story gave it a believability that it would not have had without them.

This book gripped my imagination and wouldn't let go. I found myself thinking about the characters and events even...more
Ellen Mandly
This was good, better than I expected. Although its pretty long the first half flies along. If you like this genre you will really enjoy this book.
Laura
This is the story of Emma Dickson who gave up her career in order to live in a cottage on the Essex coast. Even if this house remembered her childhood, it's haunted by a witch who was prosecuted by Cromwell's Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins. If you like to read books about ghosts and witches as well then you should read this book.
Clare
All of Barbara Erskine's novels (that I've read) are ghost stories, flicking between the current time and the past. Easy, addictive reads, always strong female characters and always a bit of romance.
Pavla
Nakonec to nebylo tak zlé ani černobílé, jak se to zdálo zhruba do poloviny knihy. Potom už byl příběh uvěřitelnější a zajímavější. Ten zvrat ke konci se mi líbil, taky pomstychtivá Sarah, stejně jako Bill Standing, ten byl pro mě asi nejzajímavější osobností z celé knihy, pohádkový dědeček a jeho kouzelné bytosti. I když jsem věděla od začátku, kdo s kým bude a iritovaly mě některé pasáže, bylo to dobře napsané, četlo se to jedním dechem. Iritující bylo např. když ta "přeúžasná" hlavní hrdinka...more
Susan
Just to make things clear, I really enjoyed this story, for the most part. The creepy factor was really up there and the atmosphere was so real that if I were reading this book in a house by myself at night, I probably would have been jumping at any sound. The witch storyline was interesting and the author described the small English village, and its citizens, very well. I felt like I was there witnessing the carnage that came later.

But...it really annoys me when an author doesn't have the chara...more
Melissa Eisenmeier
$3.77 at the Parkville Bookworm, hardback

I loved this book!
Ghosts, witches, and goblins, oh my.
Well, Hiding From the Light, by Great Britain's Barbara Erskine, doesn't actually goblins, but it does have ghosts and witches.
Set in Essex, England, circa 1996, the book revolves around Emma, a 30-something Londoner who moves to the countryside after she sees an ad for a house and has to have it, and Mike, the town's priest.
Shortly after moving into her new house, Emma starts having nightmares about...more
Joan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dark-Draco
A small parish in Essex has always known it's dark history, of Hopkins, the witchfinder general, and his obsession with finding and hanging the witches he saw all around him. But as Halloween approaches and dark mists roll in from the sea, the people find that history is closer than they think. For Emma Dickson, all she wanted was to move to the country and start her herb business in the old cottage she is strangely drawn too. Wiccan practitioner Lyndsey, doesn't want her there, nor the TV crew...more
Sean O'Reilly
I was given this book by a friend as part of a bunch which he thought I could take to my local OBCZ. This one caught my eye as it is set relatively locally to me and concerns Matthew Hopkins, notorious WitchFinder General, who is quite an interesting character.

Barbara Erskine does a good job of intertwining the stories of two periods, Hopkins' own lifetime and the modern day, into one gripping narrative. It was interesting to see in the Author's Note at the back of the book that she had some inp...more
Rebecca tedder
Not normally a fan of historic books, but being a Colchester girl, growing up around this area, I couldn't resist a witchy chiller.

Lovely storytelling, good strong characters, exciting twists and a handful of historical facts about the Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, this book for me was a winner!

As a fan of these sorts of books at the best of times, parts of this book still surprised me which is ALWAYS a good thing when you read a few ghostly/haunting/possession type tales.

Certainly a goo...more
Kay Horlock
Because this book is based locally to me I very much looked forward to reading it and it didn't disappoint. Much of what was written was based on fact and then the author filled in with her story line. The reader is left in no doubt about Mathew Hopkins evil persecution of women perceived as witches,and his hatred toward the opposite sex. As with the authors other books,the best/worst thing you can do is read this just before bedtime!
Heather
At first, I was afraid to start reading this book. Ghost stories can really spook me out. But im so glad I gave this book a chance.
Great storyline, not too predictable, with some excellent suspense and yet no sleepless nights (or nightmares). Thank goodness!
I like to think this book seems to evolve into the author's idea of what a modern-day witch hunt would be like.
All in all, it was a fun and quick read!
Theresa
This was a very readable book and, despite its size, I found myself getting through it quite quickly once I decided to prioritise it amongst the many books I read at the same time! However, I found it did not quite live up to what I expected. I was expecting a spooky book about witches and, whilst this was there, I felt it could have been done better. I say this because I have read similar books in the past on the same themes that I have enjoyed more. I would have loved for more to have been mad...more
Karen
I loved this book! Very interesting historically which made me want to read around the subject of witch hunts. Atmospheric too... so much so that I threw the book in the air when someone knocked at my door as I was reading it!
This is a book that I would highly recommend if you like to combine fiction with history and a large dose of the occult.
Fruitbat
Initially I was very intrigued by this tale but by the end I found that the book really could have told the same tale just as well in fewer chapters! Also found her use of vocabulary really repetitive. Wouldn't recommend.
Suesan
Very well written book. Gets you hooked in an instant with various interesting characters and some unexpected scenes.

Strange things are happening over in Mistley and Manningtree by a strange evil mist and only one person knows how to take care of it. Emma is attracted to leave London for the country by Liza's a former witch's cottage. Mike the new vicar is having trouble with his layreader Judith, who wants to take care of the parish herself. They are all drawn in by the places' history of a wit...more
Thumbelina-thighs
For once I'm not disappointed by one of Barbara's endings! While I feel the ending was rushed I did enjoy the book as a whole. Just a few issues with it- the characters did not grip me as much as those in previous books, the main character did not seem like a protagonist at all but merely a supporting character. Also I feel towards the end the characters became overly melodramatic- part of the story I'm sure but just seemed out of character for me. I enjoyed the story of the witches and the hist...more
Claire
It scared the crap out of me. But it's Barbara Erskine, so I'll forgive it.
Anne Mcgregor
Probably the best Barbara Erskine book!
Annette McIntyre
Well told story, but this author is not destined for my top ten list
Julie Bozza
Not my usual thing, but an interesting read with a great sense of place - and it was given to me by a friend who lives in the area, so she should know!

My only real complaint was that it's perhaps a bit too long. The 'good' guys and 'bad' guys were delineated in interesting ways, and there were a couple of twists towards the end that I didn't see coming. Overall, an enjoyable read that could have been tighter and a bit more challenging.
P.J. Roscoe
I liked the story, it kept my attention throughout. As always, Barbara's ability to create such believable characters is brilliant. I was intrigued by this story because I have always despised Mathew Hopkins for what he did to those women - maybe there's a witch in me too! Reading this story only made me despise him even more!!! It reinforced my thoughts, that he truly was an evil man - so well done for making me 'feel' such passion!!!
Sharon Reeves
I do love all of Barbara Erskine's books, and I liked reading this one, but it is not my favourite. The reason I say that, is because of the witchcraft element. Its just not one of favourite topics....I love spooky, ghostly stuff, but am just not into witchcraft. That aside the story is well written, and true to form, with Barbara Erskine's pure talent for having you feel as if you are actually there!!
Graham
This book is extremely spooky. My first exposure to the author and I loved it. Immaculate research, extremely realistic, and utterly believable. Creeps up on you and leaves you feeling cold and disturbed. The author's style may be a little long-winded for some but it's worth sticking out as this is a fine modern-day ghost story, very disturbing at times.
Amanda
The story and characters were really interesting. I liked the way it switched back and forth between the past and the present. I found the ending a little bit of a let down, but still worth reading. I was worried it might be kind of preachy, but there was only a little bit. I'd like to read more by this author.
Teresa
I loved this book. The way she intertwines history with her writing is wonderful.
This one was especially good as it involved hauntings in real places. Old churches, what people believed to be witches due to their fears.
It all takes place in modern society but the past comes back to haunt in a very real way.
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
More about Barbara Erskine...
Lady of Hay House of Echoes Kingdom of Shadows Midnight is a Lonely Place Whispers in the Sand

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