Melanie Coombes's Reviews > The Unseen

The Unseen by Katherine Webb
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Mar 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction

I read Katherine Webb's first novel and really enjoyed that historical novel. This book is easily as good as her first. A page turning plot, vivid and flawed characters along with detailed descriptions of the life and times of rural England in 1911. Add to this story a repressed vicar who leaves you questioning his sexuality, his naive wife, a handsome opportunist calling himself a theosophist and a suffragette servant. That makes for one interesting group of characters.
There is also flash forwards to the future where we meet the characters of Leah, a journalist whose ex boyfriend wants her to discover the identity of a WWI soldier whose well preserved body is found buried in a field in Belgium.
As so the story goes from 1911 back to the present. It is a love story, a murder mystery and a story of the relationships of the class system in England.
The story starts off slowly, there is lots of detail that could be shortened, but the author is very descriptive and it sets up the mood and plot perfectly. The title and description leads you to believe the story is about the occult, but instead it is about the vicar's and his friend, the theosophist's search for proof of fairies in the nearby water meadows near the vicar and his wife's home. Their ambition eventually leads to a great tragedy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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