Blog tour: 26 to 31 October 2020
The wealthy Crawleys can’t abide a scandal, so when fifteen-year-old Maddie’s behaviour causes concern, she’s packed off to the family’s country estate, along with her best friend, Ellie. But while Maddie is resentful, Ellie is secretly thrilled. A whole summer at Greywater House, which she’s heard so much about – and with Maddie, who she adores …
But from the moment the girls arrive, it’s clear there’s more to the house and the family than Ellie could ever have imagined. Maddie’s aunt, Natalie, and her bedridden grandmother are far from welcoming – and something has been waiting at Greywaters, something that flits among the shadows and whispers in the night.
As the July heat rises and the girls’ relationship intensifies, the house’s ghosts can’t be contained, and it isn’t just Ellie who has reason to be afraid. Three generations of the Crawley family must face their secrets when past and present violently collide.
‘Hill House for the 21st century: haunting, dark, and very, very real. Chilling and very sinister, but still rippled with the confusion of being a teenager, of first love, and of making impulsive mistakes. A masterpiece.’ – Anstey Harris
‘As poetic as it is unsettling, We Wait is an absolute triumph. The beautifully vivid prose is reminiscent of Du Maurier – both haunting and chilling at the same time. An eerie, clever, spine-tingling novel. This is Megan Taylor at her most thrillingly dark.’ – Kerry Hadley-Pryce
From the chilling and rather disturbing prologue, I knew this coming-of-age novel set in an eerie country house was going to be a very creepy read and perfect for Halloween!
It’s 2016 and Sara Crawley is driving her 15-year-old daughter Madeleine (Maddie) and her friend, Eleanor (Ellie), to Greywater House where the teenagers are going to be spending the summer. Maddie has been involved in something scandalous at school and, as a result, her father, Hugo, wrote to his sister, Natalie, who lives at the house with their elderly mother, and asked if she could stay with them to give her parents a break.
Before they even get to Greywaters, strange things start happening and there’s sense of anticipation, fear and trepidation. It’s clear there’s something not right about the house; a feeling of evil and foreboding. Sara drops the girls off and talks to her sister-in-law but can’t wait to leave.
The story is told from the viewpoints of Maddie’s friend, Ellie, and her aunt, Natalie. Ellie’s mother is suffering from cancer and she’s looking forward to having some time to relax with her best friend after caring for her mum, who is going on a retreat. Natalie is also a carer for her elderly mother and resents looking after her while brother, Hugo, carries on with his life.
Natalie already seems to be dealing with enough without having two teenagers thrust on her as well! There are hints about something dark in her past, and a childhood friend called Jess often features in her memories.
Ellie has always had awful nightmares and she sleepwalks at the house. She’s upset about her mum but feels reckless and freer being there. She’s always had a bit of a crush on Maddie and looks up to her and the girls grow much closer in the claustrophobic and intense setting.
In the second part of the book, we’re whisked back to the summer of 1986 at Greywater House, where we learn about the events that brought us to where we are in the present day. Things are hinted at in the first part and all becomes clearer as we put the pieces of the puzzle together and work out exactly what’s happening. The story comes together in a dramatic, life-changing conclusion.
The house is old, dark, menacing and creepy and feels like it has a life of its own, with something lurking within the walls. Everything feels off and ominous, everyone begins to feel more and more and out of control and they’re all hiding secrets and waiting for something to happen. It’s like there’s a creeping, malignant force hiding in the house that taints all around it. It grabs hold of people and stops them from leaving.
Overall, I really enjoyed We Wait – it’s beautifully descriptive with lovely imagery. Megan Taylor creates an excellent sense of place in the dark, gloomy, disturbing and atmospheric location of Greywaters with its hostile grounds including various outbuildings, gardens and a deep, silver lake.
The novel is cleverly written, with an intriguing and compelling plot. There were some shocking moments and I was surprised by how the story unfolded, with its twists, turns and revelations. As the tension rose, the pace quickened and the walls started closing in, I wasn’t really quite sure what was real and what was a dream. The writing was excellent – tense, claustrophobic and it made me feel uncomfortable and uneasy.
I’m already looking forward to checking out the rest of the author’s novels and reading some of her short stories.
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About the author
Megan Taylor is the author of three previous novels. Her first, How We Were Lost, a dark coming of age story, was published in 2007. Her second, The Dawning, a domestic thriller set over the course of a single night, was published in 2010. Megan’s third novel, The Lives of Ghosts (2012), is a mystery about repression, inheritance and motherhood.
Megan also writes short stories, some of which form her collection, The Woman Under the Ground (2014), beautifully illustrated by Nikki Pinder.
Megan lives in Nottingham, where she provides creative writing workshops and courses when she isn’t busy playing with her own fiction.
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