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Preview — The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward
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The Girl from Rawblood
Winner of BEST HORROR NOVEL (August Derleth Award) at British Fantasy Awards 2016
For generations the Villarcas have died mysteriously, and young. Now Iris and her father will finally understand why. . .
At the turn of England's century, as the wind whistles in the lonely halls of Rawblood, young Iris Villarca is the last of her family's line. They are haunted, through the ge...more
"She comes in the night. Sometimes, in mist or fog. A woman, or once a woman. White, starved...Have you not felt her? Waiting in the shadowed places outside the lamplight, at the bottom of wells. Behind you, in long dark corridors..."
I just explained this book from start to finish in full spoiler-ridden glory to my fiancé. He looked at me afterward, slightly aghast, and said, "The hell did you just read?" Then he started laughing. "How the hell do you review that?"
I'm still struggling to answer both.
Rawblood opens with the idiosyncratic voice of eleven-year-old Iris Villarca. She lives with her father in a lonely mansion, the titular Rawblood, on Dartmoor. There, he has convinced her of the legend of their family: the Villarcas suffer from a hereditary condition, given the evocative moniker 'horror autotoxicus', and Iris will die young if she neglects to follow his strict set of capital-R Rules. Essentially, the Rules say she must stay away from othe/> ...more
We start in the early 20th century with the last surviving Villarcas, young Iris and her father Allonso living at Rawblood, their estate in Devonshire. Iris lives a sheltered and proscribed existence because of her father's obsession with a curse which has killed everyone in the family for generations. As we get different points of Iris's life the story jumps around in time giving us the story of ...more
At the beginning, we are introduced to the family trees of the Villarca family and that of the Gilmores and the Coulsons. Time unravels in a non linear orientation and we encounter the people (major and minor) in the family tree in what appears to be a random fashion, ...more
This novel ranges backward ...more
Ward has an impressive grasp of the metaphor and leads the reader to conclusions instead of blatantly stating what's happened. I appreciate both of those methods.
Ultimately The Girl from Rawblood is a book about love and who belongs together, not just a ghost story. Relegating it to that box would sell it short. It's written like a diamond, facet upon facet, one section shinin ...more
The author did a fantastic job with the characters,with a awesome setting you felt as if you were there,living and feeling what irises-pest, was going through.
Brilliant back story which jumps to the present and back which the author did effectively and seemingly with appropriate ease, we learn of the curse, I won't give anything away as I believe everyone would enjoy this novel highly reco ...more
This book has strong elements of horror in it; sensitive readers might want to avoid. (Animal violence included.)
It's really hard to describe this book without spoiling anything. It's a gothic novel about a family cursed with a "white lady," who has haunted their ancestral house for generations. It's about Iris, the last daughter of the house. And it's about her family before ...more
I have to say that it was realy difficult to write a first paragraph summary of this story because a) there isn't one and b) what there is is in so many disjointed parts that it makes no sense whatsoever. I really struggled to work out who the characters even were; in ...more
And time to go and reread this novel slowly to savour and connect every moment.
My God, I thought I knew what was going to happen. I have rarely been so wrong.
This was mind-boggling in the best way possible. And now I realise that it will rather challenging to write a spoiler free review.
I love books with gothic elements but find most contemporary horror books rather tasteless and predictable. This one however? Wow. The author toyed with several difficult concepts tha ...more
This is a chilling sad and haunting tale of a family cursed. Horror in the form of a ghostly white lady dwells in the large isolated Villarca family home of Rawblood on the moors of Dartmoor. For generations she has brought illness if they should leave and when a Villarca marries, falls in love, or has a child, she comes and a horrific bloody death follows as she watches over and witnesses their demise at too young an age.
In 1910 eleven year old Iris and her father are the last in th ...more
Beginning with 11 year old Iris Villarca who lives in near seclusion with her peculiar father in a typical crumbling manor house on Dartmoor. Made aware from an early age that she carries a hereditary disease which is the family curse, her father creates rules she must follow to avoid ...more
I'm not leaving a rating because my feelings on this book may be entirely personal and specific to me and I don't want to grade the book harshly. I went into it with incredibly high hopes for an interesting, creepy, and atmospheric gothic story and I did get that! Lots of atmosphere and twists and creepiness. But the plot just. Made this a very difficult book for me to love.
The problem, I think, is that the auth ...more
Full disclosure, I'm kind of a woos, but this book was gothic and scary, sad and beautiful.
This is not for the faint of heart, in every way.
The story is about a girl names Iris, a beautiful girl with a sharp intellect and a horrible family affliction. They cannot love...if they do...they will die. And that is the beginning, for strangely that is the piece that starts everything and yet becomes so much more than that.
I did like the narrative weaving back and forth between past and present, shedding more light on characters that came before Iris and Tom, as well as the atmosphere of Rawblood, both stifling and inviting to nostalgia. I had more trouble keeping interested in the story itself, though: the characters weren’t particularly engaging, so I never cared much about them. I never really felt the connection between Iris ...more