I am delighted to share my review for Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins and what an absolutely brilliant read this was.
Let me show you what it is all about…
When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.
As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.
But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?
Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.
What an absolutely amazing read this book was. Occasionally books are referred to as being memorising and for me, Magpie Lane was just that.
The story is told from the perspective of Dee, she is answering questions at the police station in Oxford regarding the disappearance of her charge Felicity Law. This is a little girl who has been through a lot. Her father Nick and Stepmother Mariah both have intensive jobs and Dee seems to be the right fit.
The story of Dee’s past, her job with the Law family is gradually teased out through Dee’s memories as she is being interviewed. The quotations she is asked is the spark for each of these memories.
A bigger picture is gradually revealed in a very atmospheric, haunting and heartbreaking tale. A picture of a dysfunctional, hardworking and stress filled family emerges. It is an intricately woven plot that was easy to follow.
This is a slow burner of a tale that just wrapped itself around me, it was a sombre and subtle read that was so well written. I suppose you could call it a domestic thriller and yes it is but in an almost understated way. It is a story of lives hit by grief, expectations, worry and hurt but it also has a strong feeling of friendship, trust and acceptance.
I adored this book from the first few pages and as much as I wanted to discover how the book would end, I didn’t want it to. It is a book that was so beautifully written and had such an atmospheric feel to it.
This is a book that readers who like a quieter read that at the same time has a tense and dramatic edge to it. It slowly unwraps and tells the story and is a gripping read. I absolutely adored it and I would Highly Recommend it.
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