Sharon Bolton's Reviews > The Loney

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
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it was amazing

A very devout Catholic family travel with their priest, and some fellow members of their church, to the Loney – a wild stretch of the Lancashire coast. They’re hoping to pray for the health of one of the sons - a mute, slightly retarded boy called Hanney. The narrator of the story is Hanney’s brother, Smith. They stay at a run down, creepy old house called The Moorings.

The house is immediately full of tensions. Smith and Hanney’s mother doesn’t particularly approve of the new priest. Some of the party never wanted to come to Lancashire in the first place, and they’re quick to find fault with everything. The whole house is out-of-sorts and grumpy, made worse by the fact that it never stops raining. But the tension spreads beyond the house to the surrounding area. There is a strange girl in a wheelchair, who might be pregnant, and who might be a prisoner. There are grim, ritualistic symbols in the woods. Strange artifacts are found in the house. The locals are menacing. There’s a touch of the Whicker man about this book.

Throughout the novel, there is a juxtaposition between the organized religion of the catholic visitors and their accompanying priest and the much older faith – the pagan faith, that is subdued but still very much in evidence in the area.

Like the best Gothic novels, ultimately the story sits in a sort of limbo between the supernatural and the strange. We’re not sure whether something paranormal has actually happened, or whether the characters are over-wrought and hysterical.
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Reading Progress

September 17, 2016 – Started Reading
September 17, 2016 – Shelved
September 17, 2016 – Finished Reading

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