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The House on the Lake

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  153 reviews

No matter how far you run . . .
He's never far behind

Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend's rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It's miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe.

But when a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 20th 2020 by Penguin Books UK
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  272 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. From first word to last this fast paced, gripping story had me in its thrall. This has all the essential ingredients for an outstanding suspense novel - tension, intrigue, guilt, deception, shocks, danger and so well written. This is the story of Lisa whose controlling husband Mark has undermined her and demeaned her to the point where she takes drastic action. His poison has also deeply affected their three year old son Joe whose treatment of Lisa at times mirrors what he’s seen his father ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing


Lisa has left her controlling husband Mark,taking their 3 year old son Joe to stay in a friends empty house, Rowan Isle House a dilapidated lake house and not really fit to live in, having no running water. Unfortunately Lisa has no other options.

The story goes back to 2002 when Grace and her father live in Rowan Isle House. He is teaching her to be a soldier and giving her secret missions to fulfil. They keep themselves to themselves not trusting the locals.

This is such a gripping book,
Lisa and her three-year-old son Joe had driven for hours. Joe was fractious and crying for his dad; Lisa knew it would be difficult, but her escape from Mark meant she had to stay under the radar, and Rowan Isle House seemed to be the perfect hiding place. But when Lisa went inside the house she was horrified. It was old, filthy, smelled of grime and animal droppings – what sort of a mother was she to bring Joe to a place like this?

The appearance of a young woman from the local village shocked
Louise Wilson
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lisa and her three year old son, Joe arrive at a house beside a lake. The house is dark and creepy. Theres no electric or running water. But Lisa is on the run. She has no place else to go.

We also,follow Grace's story. She was thirteen when she lived in the same house with her father. Cut off from the villagers, her story is told in the form of a diary.

The two women in this story are completely different from each other. The common denominator between them is they both had men who wanted to
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood is a thriller set in two timelines.
2018 Lisa has left home with her three year old son Joe and is hiding from her husband Mark. She has been given the address of a safe house which turns out to be very run down and in a remote location.
2003 an eleven year old girl lives in the house with her father who she calls Sarge.
He is an ex soldier and is bringing her up to be self sufficient and away from other people.
I enjoyed this story and read the book in one
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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I remember reading Day of The Accident by the same author like it was yesterday. When the publishing team at Penguin Random House asked me not only to read and review The House on the Lake, but also to be part of the Instagram Tour, I couldn’t have been happier!

The Synopsis:

Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend’s rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It’s miles away from the closest town, and
Liz Barnsley
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

Nuala Ellwood’s novels are always highly addictive because they manage not only to be dark and twisted but also hugely emotional and often thought provoking.

The House On The Lake follows that trend as we meet Lisa, on the run from a controlling relationship with son Joe in tow, who moves into a dilapidated lake house where amenities are few. Interspersed with the diary of a girl growing up there, past and present are about to collide…

This was a clever and involving story that will often have you
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, netgalley
Once again, a terrific read! I very much enjoyed Nuela Ellwood’s debut novel, My Sister’s Bones as well as her second one, The Day of The Accident, and she’s done it again, it’s another winner!

The House on the Lake is a novel about abuse and control, being controlled as well as taking control. Even though there are two completely different stories told in this novel it’s not hard to see these similarities and to hope for a positive outcome for both of them.

One of the narratives follows Lisa and
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set over two timelines of 2002 and 2018 and with alternating perspectives from Lisa and “Soldier”, The House by the Lake is a dark and menacing thriller, where the suspense builds gradually.

Lisa has left her husband, and taking her young son Joe, has fled to ‘Rowan Isle House’, owned by a friend. She has no idea that it is actually a dilapidated old building, not really fit for human habitation. Long discarded possessions show that someone hasn’t been there for many years. She must be desperate
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
it's a no from me
Author writes about the best books set in Yorkshire here:

Visit Nuala Ellwoods favourite Yorkshire reads

Melancolic and deeply troubling. This is a stark and raw read. Two women abused by the men in their lives in various different ways. There's a runaway mother whose husband has abused her and so put their son's life at risk. She flees to a cottage in the middle of nowhere for ...what she doesn't know but she hopes it's safety of some sort.

The house where she flees to is called Rowan House and
With thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

The House on the Lake is the intertwining stories of two families who lived at Rowan Isle House in.Yorkshire.

In 2002 eleven year old Soldier lived at Rowan Isle with her father who she called Sarge. Sarge suffered from paranoia and hallucinations probably due to PTSD. Soldier did not go to school or have any friends, instead Sarge taught her army skills and survival techniques. On Soldier's eleventh
Susan Hampson
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
If you like weird atmospheric reads that all the characters just make you feel uneasy then this could be the next book for you.
Lisa was running away from her husband with their 3-year-old son but little Joe kept making it quite clear that he wanted his daddy. Lisa's friend had said they could use her house in Yorkshire set by the lake. It was dark and very cold when they got there but what looked bad in the dark was even worse in the day time. The house was derelict, with no running water, no
This is my third book from Nuala Ellwood and I was looking forward to reading her new one. But unfortunately this one was not my cup of tea.

Let’s start with something I liked about the book. The atmosphere is creepy and gothic-like. You can tell almost immediately there is something not right about Lisa. She and her little son are on their way to a rural village in Northern England. Lisa has obvious kidnapped her baby boy. The child is behaving strangely. He is crying for his father and it seems
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it

Gothic and dark, The House on the Lake is a fascinating novel on many levels.

2018. Lisa is running away from her husband Mark. She and her three-year-old son Joe arrive at night to the house that is supposed to be her safe place.

2003. A girl and her father live in the house on the lake. He is a soldier and intends to raise his daughter as such, for the world is full of danger.

Two timelines bound by a very special character – Rowan Isle House. I took as much pleasure discovering the
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lisa and her little son Joe are on the run, their only option a house by a lake - the address scrawled on a piece of paper - where an old friend has promised they can stay for free.

When they arrive, though, it’s not quite what she hoped for. Rowan Isle House is filthy, dilapidated and distinctly lacking in life’s little luxuries (such as electricity and running water). Lisa’s all out of alternatives, though, and she and Joe - screaming, hitting and demanding his daddy - are just going to have to
Miriam Smith
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I haven’t read any books by Nuala Ellwood before so I was looking forward to reading her recently published suspense novel “The House on the Lake”.
There are two threads to this story, the present day with Lisa and her three year old son Joe, who are running from her controlling husband Marc. They take refuge at Rowan House in the Yorkshire Dales. The other timeline is set in 2003 at Rowan House and is told from the viewpoint of an eleven year old girl who is being brought up by her ex soldier
Julie Lacey
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
This is a good read about a woman who seeks refuge in a remote house in Yorkshire with her 3 year old son.
Lisa has run away from her controlling husband and has been told about the house by a friend.
The house is derelict, with no running water but Lisa moves in as she has no choice.
Isobel pays her a visit and starts to help out but as the story goes on we learn more about Isobel and also Lisa.
There’s also chapters from soldier/Grace who used to live in the house and towards the end
Emma Curtis
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to Penguin for my advance copy. I enjoyed this book so much. Nuala Ellwood is an author who understands exactly what her readers love and writes brilliantly into the bargain.
Rowan Isle House is a rundown and isolated country home. Im 2018 Lisa finds sanctuary there with her young son Joe, from an abusive and controlling husband, and in 2000 Grace is living there as a child, off-grid with her PTSD plagued, survivalist father, Sarge. Both women are scared of the men in their lives,
Charlotte Burt
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A fast-paced thriller which centres around the lives of three, very different women and a creepy house by a Yorkshire lakeside.
I totally enjoyed this book, I think it's been the best thriller I have read in 2019. If you like your thrillers dark and twisty without too much gore or horror, then this will keep you captivated for a while.
Megan Jones
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lisa needs to disappear. Her friend’s rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It’s miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe. But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realizes that she and Joe aren’t as safe as she thought. What secret has Rowan Isle House – and her friend – kept hidden all these years? What will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her?

This was okay
A.J. Sefton
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Almost gothic, the house by the lake should be tranquil and picturesque, but it isn't.

A powerful prologue sees a woman being arrested in a crime scene containing a lot of blood. The rest of the book has the story of two females who stayed at the house ten years apart. They both have suffered from living with controlling men - one a husband and one a father - and the house at the side of a lake seems like a refuge but actually feeds the sense of isolation.

The house, like the women, has no power.
Anne Mackle
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lisa has ran away with her son Joe who really doesn't seem to like her. A friend has told her of a big house she can stay in and no one will find her. Lisa finds the house has been neglected for years. It has no water ,no electricity,nothing. With the help of a neighbour she sets up some kind of suitable living conditions but what happens when her whereabouts is betrayed?
Then there's the story of Grace as a young child living in a remote house with her father who she calls Sarge. He acts as if
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This author is now becoming one of my firm favourites I LOVED her first two books which were both five star reads. As for this book I have run the gamit of all my emotions. I love the way this author tells a story. A very emotional read with a twist I did see coming but in way did it detract from my reading pleasure. I found it very hard to put this book down, so beautifully written the main characters captured my heart and the story literally drew me in. Another hit for this author. Haunting, ...more
Alannah Clarke
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
Thank you to for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I found this novel very gripping and did not expect it to be a psychological thriller from the book's description. Nevertheless, I was hooked from the very first chapter, I really felt for the main character, Lisa and I thought the author did a brilliant job portraying her story, being on the run from a controlling relationship.
I was able to get a clear view of how isolated Lisa's new
 Charlie  ✰ WLTB Blog ✰
Oh wow,

It has been a long time since a book has gripped me as much as this one did right from page one it pulled me in and didn't let go till the very end. I read in one sitting I just couldn't put this book down.
The house on the Lake starts of when we meet Lisa a women on the run with her son Joe from her controlling Husband. as the story unfolds it is full of twists and turns I never seen coming. I kept questioning myself, thinking I had an idea of where this story was going and I was so
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I just couldn’t connect to the characters in this book. There were two stories here, that of Lisa and Grace, although there are links between them. I know Lisa was desperate but what mother would take her young child to a house like that? She was very ill prepared for running away and hadn’t seem to think things through properly. Both Grace and Lisa had very traumatic lives. There were a few unexpected events towards the end. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and ...more
Marie (UK)
I received an ARC copy of this book via net galley in return for an honest review. I feel I am in a group of one where the review of this book is concerned. I struggled to get through the book. The narrative was disconnected and hard to get into. The characters were unlikeable. The outcome was totally predictable - i think I knew who did what from about page 50. The premise is unbelievable Here we have someone hiding in an environment totally alien to her and who then does everything within that ...more
Vikki Patis
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't what I expected. Two stories weaved into one, it is brilliant and engaging, hooking the reader from the first page.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a tale of two abused women, Lisa and Grace, told over two different time periods and of a third woman, Isobel, who links the two.

It is essentially a psychological thriller which looks at the whole question of identity, guilt, PTSD and abusive control. It is a difficult read in many ways, as there are many grim situations and unsympathetic characters. Lisa, a young mother who is separated from her abusive husband, kidnaps her young son and takes him to an old house in the Yorkshire Dales.
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Nuala Ellwood is the daughter of an award-winning journalist. She was inspired by his experiences and those of foreign correspondents such as Marie Colvin and Martha Gellhorn to secure Arts Council funding for her research into PTSD for her debut psychological thriller MY SISTER’S BONES.