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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,804 ratings  ·  454 reviews
1906: A large manor house, Wake's End, sits on the edge of a bleak Fen, just outside the town of Wakenhyrst. It is the home of Edmund Stearn and his family – a historian, scholar and land-owner, he's an upstanding member of the local community. But all is not well at Wake's End. Edmund dominates his family tyrannically, in particular daughter Maud. When Maud's mother dies ...more
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published April 11th 2019 by Head of Zeus (first published April 4th 2019)
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Jane DiGiovanni A man going insane, a girl growing up realizing she's held back by her sex, realizing her father is going insane, realizing there is nothing she can…moreA man going insane, a girl growing up realizing she's held back by her sex, realizing her father is going insane, realizing there is nothing she can do about any of it.(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  2,804 ratings  ·  454 reviews

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This is a glorious piece of Edwardian gothic historical fiction from Michelle Paver, it has elements of horror and madness, set in the remote village of Wakenhyrst, surrounded by the fens of Suffolk at the start of the 20th century. The isolated manor house of Wake's End is owned by local landowner, historian and scholar Edmund Stearne, in the midst of Guthlaf's fen, an area bursting with superstitions, folklore, myths and legends, of the dreaded 'fen tigers' a savage people doctoring their ...more
Amalia Gavea
‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I thought: No wonder Maud’s mad.’’

Hold this beautiful book in your hands. Let your eyes feast on the haunting magpie and the blood-red stains. Concentrate on the images that will - no doubt- start flooding your mind. Εach and every thought that visits you becomes real once you start
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This Victorian/Edwardian gothic novel was a compulsive read that kept me awake till small hours ... It has everything I love about the genre: dramatic location, mystery, folklore and beautiful writing style. I was captivated by the way the story unravels, from the very first pages you feel the evil that in somewhere there, in the Fens? at Wake's End? In Edmund Stearn's mind?
Maud Stearn, Edmund's daughter, now an elderly lady who still lives at Wake's End, agrees to come back to the terrible
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creepy, dark
Something has been let loose...
Quite a creepy, entertaining read, well told. Reads easily. Intriguing. Mix of history, fantasy, horror, as the cover rightly says 'a masterfully creepy gothic thriller'(The Bookseller). Yes, liked it, like many here I believe!

Blessed is the man who endureth manifold troubles, for whereas he is tried, then shall he receive everlasting reward...

This is the book description:
In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

This is the perfect atmospheric read to accompany these gloomy winter evenings.

The Gothic wildness of the fens is almost untouched by the heft of man that seems to be overtaking the rest of the world. It is a place undisturbed, expect by undefinable shrieks at night, the ghosts of superstition and folklore, and one lone mansion that borders the wilderness. Inside this house, the occupants largely attempt to exist in total disconnection with the fens but something about
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a treat! Gothic suspense, the creepy fens, insanity...everything I could have wished for. Maud was a fantastic character, idiosyncratic, feisty, intelligent battling against the history and the superstitions of Wakenhyrst and her father. Her deep love of the fens, of Chatterpie, of Clem made her such a sympathetic character and pulled at my heart strings.
A creepy gothic whydunnit, set in the fens of Suffolk, Wakenhyrst is gripping from the first page. This is a story of obsession, madness, delusion, superstition.

Wakenhyrst mostly takes place in the early 20th century, just prior to the first World War, and combines creepy medieval church art; old religious notions of witchcraft, demonic possession, and saintly miracles; lingering pagan superstitions (leaving a bowl of bread and milk at the door, for witches); a creaky old manor house; the
☽¸¸.I am¸¸.•*¨ The ¸¸.•*¨*Phoenix¨*•♫♪ ☾
Edwardian/Gothic mysteries are among my favourite genres, and this one delivered those chills in all their glory!

A very enjoyable mystery, a story of madness and delusion: if you, like me, love this genre, I absolutely suggest you give it a try! Of course, as for every genres, there are tropes and such and they are very present in this one as well... but, overall, the story was entertaining enough, the characters well-developed (if a little predictable) and development of the mystery very
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed, “Dark Matter,” and “Thin Air,” I was delighted to receive Michelle Paver’s new novel, to review.

The story begins in 1966, with the discovery of three paintings, by Edmund Stearne, which have taken the art world by storm. Edmund Stearne was committed to an asylum, where he created his only artworks and now a reporter wants to unearth the story behind the paintings. In order to do so, Paver takes us back to 1913, and a house on the Fens…

This is a wonderfully Gothic novel, which
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wakenhyrst has been a long time in the making, so I was hoping it would live up to my expectations, but it absolutely blew me away and exceeded them beyond what I could ever have realistically imagined. It's a darkly gothic historical tale rich in its imagery and the creepy atmosphere Paver creates in the setting of a haunted manor house is deliciously oppressive. This is essentially a gothic mystery with a dual timeline set in 1913 and 1966 and explores the themes of witchcraft and the ...more
Bill Lynas
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dark Matter & Thin Air were both excellent ghost stories from the very talented Michelle Paver. Here is her third adult novel (having also written Young Adult books) which takes us away from the frozen settings of her previous stories & gives us England in the early 20th century.
Maud is a young girl, living with her repressive father (after her mother dies) in a house on the Suffolk Fens. She is a beautifully drawn character, as are her father & the servants occupying their house.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

I loved the intro of the book, it was so interesting with the article about Maud's father. Then, the story went back in time to when Maud was growing up and I just felt that the story turned more and more boring to listen to (I picked the audiobook version). It came to a point when I just felt that enough is enough. I'm not that interesting in Maud's childhood and youth and her feelings for the young gardener. Her father's diary notes are not rocking my boat. I'm just not the right reader so
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
It was not me who discovered Michelle Paver about five years ago, but my daughter when she pulled “The Wolf Brothers” off the shelf at our local library and then read all six books of the “Chronicles of Ancient Darkness” in short succession. So you may forgive me, that I had Michelle Paver down as a middle grade author until I saw Wakenhyrst on the shelf at the same library but this time in the adult section of “new and notable releases”. The magpie on the cover sealed the deal, because I adore ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF @ 35%

Baaah. This turned into an incredibly cliched and boring story at around the 20% mark.
Even tho the story picks up pace a little after we get to the father's journal, it is still an incredibly annoying and boring story with none of the characters being really interesting.

Is this meant to be YA?
That's what it reads like to me, and that really is not a good thing.

Anyway, on to something more engaging.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
After listening to "Dark Matter" by Michelle Paver I wanted to try another of her books. Chose the audio version of Wakenhyrst and think Juanita McMahon did a great job at interpreting and presenting the different characters. Her ability to capture emotions, in Edmund Stearn's case "disdain" toward everyone and especially toward women, and individualize the personalities made it possible to identify a particular point of view or the set of values the different characters had. The story is set ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
What a treat this book was! A fantastically atmospheric book laden with all the gothic themes I love, madness, obsession, gloom, untimely death, forbidden love and misery (crikey, I'm not sure what that says about me ) I even loved the cover. All the characters were well drawn, even the misty, marshy Suffolk fens felt like a dark and foreboding character. I absolutely loved Maud and really rooted for her throughout the whole story and completely felt her frustration with being a woman at that ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, stars-4-0
Having loved Paver’s previous ghost stories, I was very much looking forward to this new story. It didn’t disappoint!

Once more, the author goes for a gothic feel, even using a frame to her narrative in the shape of a newspaper article bringing back to the fore the infamous case of a certain Edmund Stearne who killed a worker and was as a result declared insane. Journalist Patrick Rippon succeeds in getting an interview with Stearne’s daughter, now in her old age, and gets an account of the
Carol Jones
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Put together a tyrannical intellectual father, a lonely yet inquisitive daughter, and a cast of superstitious servants with a rambling mansion in the midst of the fens and you have all the ingredients of a classic gothic tale. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward Stearn discovers a lost medieval painting during renovations to the village church. He becomes obsessed with the hellish creatures it depicts. As he descends into madness, it is left to his young daughter Maud to save all she loves ...more
Emma Garland
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wakenhyrst Is a delectable tale that oozes with gothic charm. Beautifully written, it is truly captivating and I couldn’t put it down...

Maud Stearne is an inquisitive, intelligent child. She lives at wakes end, a Manor House next to the fens with her father Edmund Stearne, mother and brother. She craves her fathers attention and at the same time fears him. Edmund merely tolerates the children, never touches them and rarely speaks to them. He is undeniably strict and Maud is made to live under
Roman Clodia
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
After loving Paver's Dark Matter and Thin Air, this book didn't work so well for me. The two earlier books were tight and ambiguous, and because we only saw the story through one set of eyes we were left hovering deliciously on that edge between haunting or a form of madness. Plus they were shivering-scary.

This feels more laboured, with a constant switching between narratives: Paver's strengths show in Edmund Stearne's diary - the gradual revelations, the disintegrating mind. But alternating
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Deliciously dark !

“The devil in the corner is real.” - P505

“The mere was utterly forbidden, the haunt of ferishes and will-‘o-the-wisps that dragged you to a miry death... In the deep green murk she saw the skeleton of drowned weeds.” - P91

“Don’t you know it’s bad luck to kill a magpie?” - P302
Victoria Gilbert
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it

Firstly thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book. Having read Pavers other work, I was very much looking forward to this one.

As with Pavers other work the location is a character in itself. The Fens are perfectly described and she evokes the terrible and dangerous yet beautiful and bewitching atmosphere of this place.

I found the main character of Maud impressive in how she finds her strength in adversity. The demeaning and belittling lives of Female Edwardian women is
Michelle Paver does it again. This time we're firmly in Gothic mystery territory with creepy goings on in a mansion in the Suffolk fens during the first years of the 19th century. This book is steeped in atmosphere as well as the stench and slime of the fen itself, a place loathed by Maud's father but adored by Maud herself. The psychology of both characters is the subject here and it's engrossing as well as beautifully depicted. This is a place barely touched by the outside world. Superstitions ...more
Bill Kupersmith
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At her scariest, Michelle Paver is about the most frightening contemporary English ghost story writer out there. Dark Matter presents the ultimate horror of being alone in the long frozen polar night. Thin Air, set in the Himalayas, didn’t quite work for me, but I may return it. With Wakenhyrst, Paver reverts to a more domestic setting, East Anglia, shortly before the Great War. Owing especially to M. R. James and more recent contributions by Susan Hill, the fen country is probably the spookiest ...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver is a gothic mystery set in a fen in Edwardian Suffolk surrounded by folklore, superstition and legends. The ancient manor house of Wake's End near the hamlet of Wakenhyrst has been Maud's home for the past 50 years where she's lived as a recluse. Maud's story is closely connected with that of her father, historian Edmund Stearne and the mystery of the crime he committed in 1913.

The reader is taken back in time to Maud's childhood and her overbearing father's
Joanna Halpin
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I absolutely loved this. Read it in a day. I do think Paver is an underrated master of this genre. Unlike other authors and novels of recent years, Paver never loses her grip on the reader or the urgency of the story. She ratchets up the tension and curiosity of the plot with beautiful sentences and asides and the final turn of the screw is just brilliant. Her descriptions of nature and the bleak beauty of the Fens is breath taking. I also loved the strange details of what Maud ate for ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was outstanding. I’ve got to read move of Paver’s work.
Michelle Paver has written two successful YA fantasy series: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness and Gods and Warriors. She has also published two chilling ghost novels for adults: Thin Air (which I greatly enjoyed reading just over a year ago) and Dark Matter (which I’m yet to read but is, according reviewers I respect, just as brilliant). Both are built on a similar premise – individuals in eerie, extreme landscapes, whether Himalayan peaks or the expanse of the Arctic, start losing their grip on ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marshes-and-fens
A gothic tale set in the fens and marshes of Eastern England, most specifically Suffolk. It is set between 1906 and 1913 when many of the old folklore and customs of the fens and marshes were still believed. There are all too few truly wild fens and marshes left, but this is set in one of them. There is a prelude set in 1966, when Maude Stearne aged 69 looks back on the childhood when the novel is set. At the centre of the story is her tyrannical and misogynist father Edmund. There are no ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Medieval demons and Edwardian doom...

Young Maud Stearne is a lonely child, growing up in an old house in the midst of the Suffolk fens in the early 20th century. Her strict and domineering father doesn’t have much love or time for any of his children, especially his daughter, and her mother is almost permanently pregnant, though most of those pregnancies don’t come to term. Edmund Stearne, her father, is searching for a book rumoured to have been written by a medieval mystic, the Book of Alice
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Michelle Paver was born in Central Africa, but came to England as a child. After gaining a degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University, she became a partner in a City law firm, but eventually gave that up to write full-time.

The hugely successful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series arose from Michelle's lifelong passion for animals, anthropology and the distant past - as as well as an encounter
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“DEATH freezes everything. Whatever you did or didn’t do, whatever you said or left unsaid: none of that is ever going to change. You have no more chances to say sorry or make things right. No more chances for anything except regret.” 1 likes
“The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustled and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I thought: No wonder Maud’s mad. All her life in a place like this?” 0 likes
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