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Ghost Wall
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April 2019: History > Ghost Wall - Sarah Moss - 4 stars

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Susie | 4488 comments I'm slowly churning my way through the Women's Prize longlist, and Ghost Wall was a little gem hidden in the list. It is a novella that tells the story of Silvie, a young girl who is living with her family in an experiment in Northern England where they are trying to replicate the lives of ancient Britons of the Iron Age, fulfilling her father's obsession. The experiment is part of an anthropological course, and students from the course are living with the family. Contact with the students allows Silvie to see another side to life, and she is slowly awakened to the fact that she is being oppressed and abused by her father.

The novel packs a powerful emotional punch, exploring themes of misogyny and allowing us to question how far we have actually come since the Iron Age. I really appreciated being introduced to this thought process, and found the audiobook to be very well performed.

I have added this to the history tag as the family in the novella attempted to replicate an historical lifestyle, and the lives of ancient Britons were frequently discussed.


message 2: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2323 comments This sounds really interesting and right up my alley. Short is good too!

I’ve always been fascinated by those experimental programmes where people try to live as folks in various historical time periods would have lived. I vaguely remember something Iron Age-ish from when I was a teenager (a few haircuts ago, so the details are very dim...)


Susie | 4488 comments I think this will be right up your alley Kate!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, this sounds interesting. I love history and anthropology was my second minor. Replication of another life is right up my alley.;)


message 5: by Hebah (new) - added it

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments Hmm. This sounds intriguing, and look, it's on shelf at my library. Grabbing that today.

Reminds me a bit of some of the shows PBS did where participants lived like people in, say, a manor house or the early American colonists.


ShazM | 364 comments We had a TV programme in the UK recently which had a family live in the style of different decades complete with food, clothes and household decor. The 70s and 80s made me cringe a bit but the earlier decades were very interesting. This sounds like an interesting story, I'll give it a go.


Susie | 4488 comments We watched that too! It was fascinating!


message 8: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberwolf) | 836 comments Great review, Susie! I'm adding this to my list.


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