Echo Hall by Virginia Moffatt – Review.

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About the Book

In the early nineties, newlywed Ruth Flint arrives at Echo Hall to find an unhappy house full of mysteries that its occupants won’t discuss. When her husband, Adam, is called up to the Gulf War, her shaky marriage is tested to the core.

During World War 2 Elsie Flint is living at Echo Hall with her unsympathetic in laws. While her husband,Jack is away with the RAF, his cousin Daniel is her only support. But Daniel is hiding a secret that will threaten their friendship forever.

At the end of the Edwardian era, Rachel and Leah Walters meet Jacob Flint, an encounter leading to conflict that will haunt the family throughout World War 1 and beyond.

As Ruth discovers the secrets of Echo Hall, will she be able to bring peace to the Flint family, and in doing so, discover what she really wants and needs?

My Review

When I was contacted by the author asking me if I would like to read her book I was delighted. It was the just the type of book that I enjoy reading as a break from crime fiction. I’ve always liked the type of novel that covers generations of the same family where all their secrets are revealed. Some of the people in it are in more than one period and you see the way that life has turned out for them.
The author demonstrates very well how war has a devastating effect on an area, which is more obvious when the community is small. In the beginning it is noticed how many families have had their lives torn apart from more than one war. In the novel it is WW1, WW2 and the Iraq war in the 1990s.
The Flint family are a strange one. Brittle, unapproachable and very unhappy. The novel focuses on the women: Rachel, Elsie, Ruth, Phoebe and Leah. Leah is one of the more elusive characters but it is her actions which have the biggest effect on most of the others. Daniel, Joseph and Jack also have a role but it is the women whose story is told. Their family ties are revealed throughout the novel but much of what happens isn’t revealed until near the end. Attitudes towards the war also play a part. How differing views can unsettle relationships and cause bad feeling in families and in a small community.
But just as destructive as the wars is jealousy and it is this what affects the different generations. It is hard to think that a feeling can cause misery and loneliness for a 100 years, but I have a feeling that it could be common.
My favourite period was WW1, where Rachel gets her chance to find love, but my favourite character was Elsie, and I wished she could have had a happy life away from the Flints.
Virginia Moffatt is an author who I would definitely read again and I would like to thank her for sending me her book to review.

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