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House of Shadows

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  75 reviews
When Kate Vavasour wakes in the hospital, she remembers nothing of the family gathered around her, or of her life before the accident. The doctors diagnose post-traumatic amnesia and say the memories should start returning. Which they do—but these memories are not hers. They belong to Isabel Vavasour, who lived and died at Askerby Hall more than 400 years earlier. Returnin ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2016 by Pan Books (first published December 3rd 2015)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
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May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really swept away by this novel. It appears that Hartshone is a fantastic storyteller, and even though there'e not much that we haven't met before here, she manages to create real tension and makes you care about what happens to the characters. Some of these characters are a bit stereotypical, but they're so well-written that you hardly notice. I can't remember the last time I raced through a novel so fast for wanting to know what's next. In short, not the most original story but so much f ...more
3 stars--I liked the book. I'm putting this on both my "ghosts" and "past lives" shelves, but I'm not sure it really belongs on either!

This is a time-slip romance that's light on romance and heavy on the gothic overtones--just the way I like 'em! Other things I liked: great setting, ghostly plot, and an interesting historical narrative.

Things I didn't like: it's pretty obvious what's happening from page 10 or so; there's nothing new here and no surprises. Still, I enjoyed the read and will look
Maria Grazia
It is a haunting story shifting constantly and twistingly between two time lines, from a present-day reality to the alluring Tudor Era, but with only one place as its heart: Askerby Hall, the house of shadows.

The central character, Kate Vavasour, wakes up from a coma in a hospital bed and the reader can follow her confused, uncertain steps back to life from right inside her mind, where she is convinced she is someone else, Isabel Vavasour, and where there is no sign of recognition of any of the
Joanna Johnson
I would give this 3.5stars if I could. The writing style was actually wonderful and the pacing was really nice. I found the protagonist in the current period interesting and enjoyable as well as the historical.
My issues with the book were the sheer gullibleness of the main characters and how obvious the plot was, within minutes of meeting the character I knew who 'dunnit' which really ruined it for me. I also found the secondary characters beyond them too wooden to interest, they felt l
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining read but a bit predictable
Iona Grey
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely drawn into this book and couldn't stop thinking about it. The premise - a woman who finds herself possessed by the spirit of someone who lived in the same house 500 years earlier - might sound a little unlikely, but Pam Hartshorne makes such a brilliant job of setting up the story that it is entirely plausible and utterly compelling. I was rooting for Kate from the start, desperately wanting her to find the answers to the mystery of what happened to Isabel and her son, and not t ...more
Despite work and everything else going on today, I read this book in one day. Such an atmospheric and enchanting novel. I did predict much of what happened (hence the 4 not 5 stars), but nevertheless this was a truly delightful, compelling read.

Kit Domino
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this novel over the course of one day as I found I couldn't put it down. It's brilliant. Pamela is truely the queen of timeslip and I look forward to more from this fab author.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good read, I enjoyed it. Thanks Nadia!
I absolutely adored Pamela Hartshorne's latest 'time slip' novel 'House of Shadows'. I enjoyed it so much that I began reading it last night and finished it first thing this morning - I really only put it down yesterday because I was so tired my eyes wouldn't stay open. Honestly, if I could have managed it I would have read through the night to finish this book.

I like 'time slip' novels anyway- 'Mariana' by Susanna Kearsley is one of my favourite books, but there's just something about the way
Jo Barton
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Vavasour wakes in hospital after a devastating fall, she has no memory of what happened or, indeed,of who she is. People come to visit her in hospital and remind her that she is a young widow with a small son, but this means nothing to Kate, even her name feels wrong and as a tight band settles around her head, she begins to experience a life that has no reality in the here and now. Returning to Askerby Hall, a home she shares with her in-laws, Kate attempts to make sense of her surrounding ...more
Jane Watson
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book - really enjoyed it. Pamela Hartshorne does these kind of "time-slip" novels really well with a good mix of old and modern which I like. Her characters are well drawn although I realised early on that the two "friends" were obviously not but still the story kept drawing you in and you found yourself rooting for Kate, the main character. It was refreshing that Isabel really loved her husband and he was kind and gentle with her as so many couples in the Middle Ages are portrayed as the ...more
East Gwillimbury
I enjoyed House of Shadows, by Pamela Hartshorne. This will be of interest to those who like time-slip/haunting stories and life in earlier times. Just as the main character, Kate Vavasour, wakes up in hospital from a coma, she hears someone say, “You should have died…” She remembers nothing of her previous life, not even her own name. The doctors diagnose post-traumatic amnesia, and say the memories should start returning. They do . . . but the majority are not her own. They belong to Isabel Va ...more
Louise Morris
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Very Gothic.
Emma Severn
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good book, bit jumpy with references at the beginning, but soon makes sense - then you can't put it down
KL Caley
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Premise: When Kate Vavasour wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing about the family gathered around her bed, or of her life before the accident. The doctors diagnose post-traumatic amnesia, following a terrible fall from the roof of her home, Askerby Hall. The doctors say the memories should start returning. Which they do . . . but these memories are not her own. They belong to Isabel Vavasour, who lived and died at Askerby Hall over four hundred years earlier . . .

Returning to her s

David Proffitt
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
House of Shadows is a story of possession, betrayal, discovery, love and redemption. It is a ghost story without ghosts - or at least not in the way you might expect. This is possession, but not in the Exorcist, spinning head and strange voices way. The supernatural element of this compelling tale is much more subtle than that.

It is really the story of two women, separated by four centuries but united by their love and need to reconnect with their sons. Both women find themselves being manipulat
Jill Rebryna
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this kind of novel. I'm a fan of Kate Morton's work, and it reminded me of the obsessive way I feel that I need to finish. There is always a truth that needs to be known, and I end up desperate to find it. It's especially nice when the setting is an English manor home that's somewhat isolated, although making the protagonist, Kate, survive a fall off a tower and need a long recovery was actually a pretty effective way of isolating the action. Well, that and her amnesia. A protagon ...more
Victoria Meyer
I didn’t hate this. The characters were well thought out and believable, and the setting was enchanting enough. The flipping between Tudor England and modern day felt pretty seamless.

However, the main problem with this book was that it all but spells out the ending in the first 150 pages, and then does nothing but steadily plod along towards the completely expected, well-anticipated finale- and then acts like you’re supposed to be surprised about it. It’s incredibly frustrating to sit in all th
Given that what was going on (in the past as well as in the present) was so obvious from so early on, I found myself getting very impatient with this book, as well as with the MC - in her current persona if not in her past one - memory loss and trauma notwithstanding. I really wanted to give her a good shake or a slap up the side of the head, and I'm not a violent person. It sounds from what I've seen as if most of this author's books follow a similar plot - I can only say that I hope that a) th ...more
Linda Amos
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very good story but I cottoned on fairly early what was happening. It builds slowly so stick with it.
If you don't like time slip stories this one isn't for you.
Kate has an accident and loses her memory. However, she has other 'memories' as Isabel but how can these be memories when Isabel lived 400 years earlier? When she goes home her son, Felix, refuses to acknowledge her as his mum. The dog, Pippin, who was devoted to her prior to the accident, does not accept her and growls or snaps when

A woman wakes from a coma after a serious accident. She finds herself in two different centuries - the 21st, where she is a young widow with a child living with her rather odd in laws in their ancestral hone; and the 16th where she is the wife of a wealthy landowner living in the same house as her 21st century counterpart

The story winds its way between these two stories - complicated by the modern woman's traumatic memory loss. It meanders through the two stories until it reaches the rathe
Hilary Tesh
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
As Kate’s memories return after her fall (?jump) from a tower at Askerby Hall, they are mingled with those of Isabel from centuries earlier. It’s an easy going page turner, even though the characters are somewhat stereotypical - the uptight upper class family, the dog and child who recognise the differences in Kate, the incomer regarded with suspicion etc. Unfortunately the comparisons between two of the characters, one past, one present, make the outcome of this mild gothic melodrama rather pre ...more
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Pamela Hartshorne writes the best books which include time travel. I love her books. This is no exception. The main character Kate "Falls" from the tower of the home, "castle" and when she wakes up from a coma she has no memory. Then she gets flashbacks about Isabel and and her son who lived 400 years ago in the same home "castle". What an adventure and it kept me going from first page to the last.
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid 3 1/2 stars from me. This one is almost a new genre for me: it is a different subject matter to what I am usually drawn to, so I came in not knowing what to expect. I found myself quite engrossed by the end: I couldn't help but feel the gripping eerieness of the setting and found it quite hard to put down.
Sara Giacalone
Time slip novels are a guilty pleasure, much like my enjoyment of gothic mystery romances. This one was fast paced and mysterious... and I enjoyed it even though I figured out the central "who done it" in the first chapter or so (although the whys were a little harder to decipher). Perhaps not as good as Susanna Kearsley or Barbara Erskine, but still a fun read.
Kim L. Edwards
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it from beginning to end!

Great story that had so many facets to it. Love story, ghost story, mystery - all rolled into one amazing story. Sad that it ended. I wanted it to go on and on.
Frances  Hughes
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What a brilliant story. Just could not put it down. Similar themes I know to Tines Echo of experiencing a past life and resolving a characters issues from the past but different enough to be wholly engaging.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting read but at the same time frustrating, because it was pretty obvious from the beginning what had happened in both storylines, but the main character seemed oblivious to it somehow.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: incomplete
House of Shadows was written quite well and is usually the kind of book I flip over, but despite the writing I couldn't get into it the way I wanted to.
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After a haphazard early career spent working and travelling around the world, I started writing romance in order to fund a PhD in Medieval Studies. Naturally, that didn't turn out to be quite the easy option I thought it would be, but I did in the end complete a thesis on the street and the perception of public space in later medieval and early modern York in 2004. My research formed the basis of ...more

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