Friday 22 October 2021

The Room In The Attic by Louise Douglas BLOG TOUR @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheRoomInTheAttic


A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas was published on 12 October 2021 by Boldwood Books. It was my intention to read and review the book for this Blog Tour, organised by Rachel's Random Resources today but my book has not yet arrived.

I'm sharing an extract from the book to whet your appetite and I will share my review just as soon as I've read the book.

Extract from The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas


Lewis – September 2021

The night before I returned to All Hallows I dreamed I was walking barefoot along the attic corridor. As I passed the fourth door, I became aware of little fires burning in that dark room: on the rug, in the curtains and a dozen other places. I began to run, but the further I ran, the further the corridor stretched ahead of me and the more the fires burned, and I knew that I would never reach the end. There was no escape.

My wife woke me; a hand on my shoulder. ‘Lewis! Wake up! You’re having one of your nightmares.’

It took me a moment to bring myself back to the present: to our warm, untidy bedroom, pillows, a duvet; a wine glass on the bedside table; the dog snoring on his rug in the window bay. The room was dark, the city beyond still sleeping.
‘Sorry,’ I whispered. ‘Sorry to wake you,’ and I kissed my wife’s hand and slid out of bed and went downstairs to drink a glass of water in the kitchen.
It was 4 a.m. The dying hour. I sat at the table, moved aside our youngest son’s homework, and picked up the auction house catalogue that I’d left lying face-down on the table next to the fruit bowl.

I turned it over. The cover headline read: ‘Rare Redevelopment Opportunity’. Beneath it, the picture of a derelict building was captioned: ‘All Hallows. Grade II listed Victorian asylum/boarding school, outbuildings, 50 acres of walled grounds. Prime countryside location.’

There it was, in full colour: the same long, forbidding building with the bell tower at its centre that I revisited in my nightmares. If I looked hard enough, I could almost see through the windows to the pupils sitting at their desks in the classrooms: those ranks of boys in their brown sweaters and trousers, with identical close-shaven haircuts. I could almost smell the dust burning in the elbows of the big old radiators, hear the relentless ticking of the clocks on the walls. And there, outside, were young boys with their bony knees and striped socks, shivering as they grouped on the rugby field; the padded bumpers used to practise tackles laid out on the grass; the swagger of the sports master with his great, muscly thighs. ‘Three Rolls’, we used to call him because he walked as if he was carrying three rolls of wallpaper under each arm.

The auction had taken place a fortnight earlier, the building sold to clients of the firm of architects for whom I worked. If they’d asked my advice before the sale, I’d have told them not to buy it, but by the time the catalogue reached my desk, the paperwork had been signed, the deal was done.

I dropped my head into my hands.

I did not want to have to return to All Hallows. What I wanted was to speak to Isak, to hear his voice, and be rallied out of my anxiety by his dry humour. I picked up my phone and was on the point of calling him, but then I heard my mother whisper in my ear: Lewis, don’t. It’s not fair to disturb him, not at this hour!
I put down the phone, grabbed my coat and went into the garden to wait for the sunrise.

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. 
The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. 
She lives in the West Country. 
Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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