Andrew Hurley s evocative but understated prose reminds me of WG Sebald, although the atmosphere can be MR James, with its gentle hints of a ancient, darker world that lies beneath the thin veneer of the rational, scientific one I don t believe in the supernatural, but this novel really got under my skin.
However, that aside, this is also a poignant and moving story about two people facing two forms of parental loss the death of a child and, before that, the gradual realisation that the life they d envisaged for their son was an act of self delusion Any parent who has a child that is different should empathise with this aspect of the novel.
This is shorter than Hurley s two other novels, but is the perfect length for this strange and wonderful book.
Acre May Well Be His Best Novel So Far The Times A Tour De Force Of Physiological Fantasia Sunday Times Hurley S Horror Is Beautifully Written And Triumphantly Creepy Mail On Sunday Expertly Paced Creepy And Marvellous Daily Mail The Worst Thing Possible Has Happened Richard And Juliette Willoughby S Son, Ewan, Has Died Suddenly At The Age Of Five Starve Acre, Their House By The Moors, Was To Be Full Of Life, But Is Now A Haunted PlaceJuliette, Convinced Ewan Still Lives There In Some ã Starve Acre: BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime ✓ Download by ✓ Andrew Michael Hurley Form, Seeks The Help Of The Beacons, A Seemingly Benevolent Group Of Occultists Richard, To Try And Keep The Boy Out Of His Mind, Has Turned His Attention To The Field Opposite The House, Where He Patiently Digs The Barren Dirt In Search Of A Legendary Oak Tree Starve Acre Is A Devastating New Novel By The Author Of The Prize Winning Bestseller The Loney It Is A Novel About The Way In Which Grief Splits The World In Two And How, In Searching For Hope, We Can So Easily Unearth Horror Did not enjoy this book kept wanting the plot to get to the point and I found the end twisted Only read to the end because I had paid for the book If it had been a library book would have returned it not finished reading.
I ve read most of Hurley s books and this was by far my favourite This is a haunting book I loved the way this short novel is structured, focusing on present events with Richard and Juliette grieving their son in very different ways intercepted with flashbacks showing how their son, dead only a few months started to change and become violent when they moved to the moors There are hints that he may have fallen prey to some malevolent force on the moors, like a form of possession but this is never fully explored There is enough information for you to reach your own conclusions Juliette s obsession with believing her son is still on the moors somehow is heart breaking and chilling Her sister knows this way of thinking is unstable and she needs psychiatric help Richard is a bit irritating at times as he seems unable to see the truth about his wife s mental state There is sense of ho ✓ Starve Acre: BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime ¹ Devastated by death, Richard and Juliette struggle to come to terms with the loss of little son Ewan Juliette is convinced he is still around, her state of mind cause for increasing concern.
Ingredients are surely here for a shuddery read Local families, there many generations, so wary of incomers An inherited house too large for comfort Stone Acre close by, where nothing grows Once it had been dominated by a majestic oak tree a landmark throughout sixteen reigns, a useful gallows for villains What became of that oak No sign above ground Its roots all that are left One thing is clear Nobody should ever try digging there.
A sense of unease steadily grows What exactly happened to Ewan He was certainly most odd Occult influences at work Worrying details emerge.
Writing is elegant, everything arguably a little too understated Perhaps in a minority of one, I felt impact would be g
I have read Mr Hurley s two previous books and enjoyed both however The Loney is soo dark.
Well so is this one Grieving parents of troubled young boy struggle to come to grips with their loss.
It goes from bad to worse Richard struggles to make sense of an old local story, whilst his wife goes to pieces They get some help but it causes yet anguish for the couple.
The ending Looking forward to his next offering.
A bit disappointed with this to be honest Loved the previous 2 books, The Lonely and Devils Day, maybe because they were longer and developed, I m not sure I ve read a lot of folk horror just lately so maybe that s taken something away from the impact the ending might have otherwise had I still look forward to whatever Andrew does next though.