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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 ratings  ·  260 reviews
By the bestselling author of Dark Matter and Thin Air, an outstanding new piece of story-telling, a tale of mystery and imagination laced with terror. It is a masterwork in the modern gothic tradition that ranges from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Neil Gaiman and Sarah Perry.

"Something has been let loose..."

In Edwardian Suffolk , a manor house stands alone in a lost corn
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Head of Zeus
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4.02  · 
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 ·  1,141 ratings  ·  260 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 'agu ...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
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark, creepy
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 wi
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 eer
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 ha
☽¸¸.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 satisf
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
Bill Lynas
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. P
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 dangerou ...more
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
Carol Jones
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, 2019
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 event
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t ...more
Victoria Gilbert

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 i
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
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 increas
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
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 lunc ...more
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 r ...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.
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 P
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* read an uncorrected proof copy *

i’m working in a bookshop today. i came in, i turned the lights on. i set the till up. i sat down and i looked outside. it’s a miserable day. the opposite of yesterday’s glorious sunshine; it’s grey and cold and raining. not quite stormy but yeah, almost. the potential is there. there will be very few customers walking through the doors today. i made myself some coffee, i got comfortable, i picked up wakenhyrst. i didn’t put it down.

this is an excellent read. it
MaryannC. Book Freak
Maud is a young, precocious girl when she loses her mother in childbirth and is suddenly mistress of Wake's End, a large and gloomy manor house set amongst the deep dark fens where her father is beginning his descent into madness and Maud the ever watchful and curious child that she is cannot stop the terrible events that will eventually happen. As Maud watches her father's obsessions take over she learns dark family secrets and experiences the first stirrings of love and just how twisted and un ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
It's the 1960s and Maud is being asked about her life as a young girl at Wake's End in the early 20th . She talks of her European mother impregnated every year and her strict religious father obsessed with his work as a medieval historian. There are hints to something darker, secrets of her father and a murder that happened when she was 16. This is billed as a tale of terror but the only terror was the awful misogyny of the time period. This was a bit of a slow burner as it took a while for anyt ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Dark atmospheric story, set in the fans of Suffolk. We learn at the beginning of the story that Maud's father, Edward Sterne, went mad and killed someone in a very gruesome manner when she was a teenager. He was sent to an asylum where he started to paint images of demons which went on to become famous. A reporter is trying to find out about the background of these paintings, and the events surrounding his incarceration. Maud has hidden herself away from society ever since that day and the rep ...more
First of all, thank you Head of Zeus for sending me a (signed!) advanced proof of this book, because I just know I would have struggled embarrassingly hard if I'd had to wait until the release date in April. Michelle Paver's adult novels (particularly Dark Matter) are some of my favourite books, and I wasn't sure if this would live up to them. Boy, was I wrong.

Paver herself has said this is the best book she's ever written, and no wonder. This book somehow fits the perfect niche of 'familiar ye
Pam Tickner
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true gothic horror story. I loved the journal entry style of story telling and was hooked at the start, however, I felt the book lost its way in the middle third and I considered giving up as Maud's story became repetitive and her father was just too awful, the story stalled for me, however I'm glad I persevered as once father started descending into madness the story really developed into a medieval nightmare.
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Creepy gothic suspense where madness reigns supreme.
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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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