Jul 29, 2015

Book Review: Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand

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Review by Suze

Something weird has happened at Wylding Hall. The young folk band Windhollow Faire goes there to recover from the terrible death of Arianna, the former female singer of the band. The American Lesley replaces her and joins the band at Wylding Hall where the manager hopes they will get over the traumatic death and will manage to come up with songs for a brilliant new album. Wylding Hall is an unused mansion in a remote area. The idea works and the band is in such a good shape, but then Julian, the band's most talented member, disappears. 

Wylding Hall is Windhollow Faire's second and last album. Wylding Hall is a creepy house and not everyone feels at ease there. Both the band members and friends who are coming to stay for a short while are feeling ill at ease. When Julian disappears he's with a girl. Who is she? She's on the album cover, but nobody knows anything about her. Years later the other band members and people who used to know them are talking about the strange summer at Wylding Hall and about what might have happened to Julian.

I loved the brilliant form of this book. It reads like a documentary. I liked that every time another character talked about Wylding Hall and what happened there. I was immediately fascinated by the story. What happened to Julian, who was involved and what are the theories behind it all? I wanted to know more and I enjoyed the speculations and the mystery of Julian's disappearance.

Elizabeth Hand's writing is beautiful. She always manages to surprise me. When I would have watched a similar documentary on television I would have been a bit skeptic, but also intrigued. That was exactly how I felt while I was reading this book. I loved both the story and the way it ends. It was easy to recognize the distinctive voices and of course there's no way you know who's the most credible, that's an aspect I liked a lot. It leaves room for a lot of personal interpretation. I think Wylding Hall is fantastic, it's creepy, oppressive, disturbing and really, really good.


  1. Sounds like a really interesting story. And it looks from the cover like a creepy story, so glad to hear that it lived up to that! Great review!

    1. Yes it definitely is, I love creepy and Elizabeth Hand knows how to create that effect with insinuations rather than really scary scenes, which is something I love.

  2. I saw this book on Goodreads and added it to my TBR. Glad to read this glowing review. Oooh. Spooky.


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