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Whisper Cottage: A completely addictive psychological thriller with a shocking twist, perfect for Halloween 2023

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Genres: Fiction / General, Fiction / Gothic, Fiction / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Domestic, Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense

Anne Wyn Clark's writing really shined with the unease and sense of doubt she created throughout the book. I wondered as well, was Mrs. Barley a lonely outcast who lived on the fringes of society for too long? Was she misunderstood and eccentric? Or was there something more sinister going on. I loved the dubious assumptions made in this book. I liked how chilling Clark makes the narrative. There are plenty of clues that would suggest Mrs Barley is a witch and I loved how Stina tries to argue logic, despite the evidence she has seen. Visiting her neighbour, Stina finds trinkets and odd ornaments in Mrs Barley’s living room. Coupled with the fact that people seem to get poorly if Mrs Barley has taken a dislike to them, well, I was expecting there to be a chapter featuring Mrs Barley stirring a cauldron!

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DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK audio, Avon via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of Whisper Cottage written by Anne Wyn Clark and narrated by Lauren Moakes for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Set in the heart of the village with much to offer, with attractive buildings, a lovely deli, cafe and pubs all within walking distance, and expanses of farmland and the Howardian Hills close by.

Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems. Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North (Pevsner Architectural Guides / Buildings of England) The Cowdray Estate just outside Midhurst has a wonderful farm shop, café, and even a woodfired oven that offers takeaway pizzas. Petworth also has a brilliant deli, the Hungry Guest, which provides excellent takeaway coffee, bread from its own bakery, and even ready meals. Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home?The story opens with a puzzling prologue that drew me in immediately. It's 1964 and a young baby screaming as its mother failing to soothe it in the presence of its somewhat grumpy father who silently swears he will teach that child a lesson or two the next time it dares to scream. Petworth is a small town, but brims with culture. Petworth Park House has an outstanding art collection, and there are numerous other small galleries selling traditional and contemporary art and sculpture in and around the town. The Petworth Literary Festival is another highlight, which always boasts some well-known names. Yet, Clark doesn’t fully invest in this narrative which I thought was a real shame. There is so much emphasis on the possibility of the supernatural that I did not want it to be explained by reason and logic. I thought this omission was a bit disappointing because of how many spooky and inexplicable events that occur as a result of interacting with Stina’s neighbour. Indeed, the death of one of the characters in the story felt so connected to Mrs Barley that I wanted my supernatural hunger to be fulfilled… but it never really came. Storytelling Element: People love stories. Craft a name that tells a brief story about your cottage's journey, transformation, or its role in the lives of its visitors. Evoke Emotions: Choose words that evoke feelings of comfort, relaxation, or adventure. Think about how you want your guests to feel during their stay and weave those emotions into the name.

The audio is about 9.5 hours long and narrated by Lauren Moakes. Moakes does a great job of voice acting. She reads at a nice pace and brings the characters to life. Very enjoyable listening experience! Tailor to Purpose: Consider the primary purpose of your cottage, whether it's a cozy getaway, a team-building haven, or a romantic escape. Aligning the name with its intended use sets the right expectations.For a more sedate countryside experience, choose a section of the 100-mile long South Downs Way to walk or cycle, and enjoy the Sussex landscape at it’s very best – or choose walks from your door in Lodsworth that run through woodland and fields and boast some stunning views of the South Downs and Rother Valley. But then a dark secret that has long been buried is about to be uncovered, shedding a whole new light on their neighbour....giving them cause to question themselves just how well do they know her? I would like to thank #AnnWynClark, #Netgalley, #AvonBooks and #RachelsRandomResources for an ARC of #WhisperCottage in exchange for an honest review.

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