I am delighted to share my review today for The Haven by Amanda Jennings. This is a fabulously addictive psychological thriller.
My huge thanks to HQ Stories for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley.
Two decades ago, Tara and Kit leave everything behind to join a group living in a tumbledown farm on a glorious expanse of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. For Kit, it’s a chance to break away from his wealthy family and the soulless upbringing he loathes so much; for Tara, the chance to give their young daughter Skye everything she never had – a childhood full of nature and freedom. Breathtakingly beautiful and remote, Winterfall Farm provides them all with an idyllic home, a new family and the opportunity to work and live off the land. At first, it seems too good to be true.
But as the seasons change, the behaviour of Winterfall’s charismatic leader, Jeremy, becomes increasingly erratic. Rules and discipline are imposed. The outside world seems increasingly further away, and as new faces arrive at the farm, tensions rise with devastating consequences…
The Haven is a compelling new novel from Amanda Jennings, author of The Cliff House.
What an addictive read The Haven was. It really didn’t feel like 400 pages! The synopsis lays out the basics very well for the story. A couple leaves the rat race and try to live off-grid. Tara, Kit their 6-year-old daughter Skye and good friend Jeremy buy an old farm on Bodmin Moor. Along with a few others with a similar ethic, they start their own commune of sorts. Trying to create their own utopia in Cornwall.
This was such a fabulous story to disappear into and the beginning of the book introduced me to the characters. Then the author delved into their lives and how they decide to make the move to the tranquil Cornish landscape. Leaving behind luxuries that many of us see as necessities.
While many of us may love the idea of living off-grid, I also know that it would be a very real struggle. Having lived a week without a washing machine or vacuum because they have broken, not having heating in the middle of the winter is tough. I live in Cornwall and I know first-hand how bitter the winds can be, how driving the rain can be and how exposed you are to the elements. Bodmin Moor is definitely exposed and it is also beautiful.
I think the author has done such a wonderful job building up this idyllic sounding community. People with similar views want to create something ethical, environmental and most of all free from politics, bureaucracy and rules. The thing is that when people get together, they bring their own shared beliefs but they also bring opinions. For Tara and Kit, their daughter is the only youngster in the group, they are the only parents. They have their own ideas as to what is best for Skye.
Things seem fine until Jeremy brings in another person to the farm. She is an important character and one that comes with her own past. The decision for her to live at the farm divides opinion. This character along with Tara are two of the narrators of the story. Their voices are used to give their perspective of what is happening and it gives insight into their thoughts and feelings. The is a third voice, Kit’s, but this is told in the third person point of view. Kit keeps his feeling close to his chest and this makes for a good balance of opinions.
I adored how things started so well but then the author gradually started to incorporate cracks. She then widens these cracks and soon things start to turn. Views and opinions become more challenging and there are some serious consequences. I also loved how the ending of this story fell.
This is a fabulous read, it is a thriller that gradually increases the suspicions and doubt. As a reader it is good to see things from a distance, it felt as if I was seeing a larger picture while the characters were more tunnel-visioned. This made for an exciting reading experience. There are some shocks and some twists.
This is one that readers of contemporary fiction, thrillers and psychological thriller genres. I thought it was excellent right from the start to the finish and I would definitely recommend it.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx