The Hidden Girl
Emily Bestler Books
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“. . .the strength of Millar’s prose draws the reader in . . .”
In Louise Millar’s The Hidden Girl, the reader is introduced to Hannah and Will, a young professional couple seeking a new life in the wilds of Suffolk County, England. A great deal rides on their ability to refurbish a hundred-year-old house left empty and neglected for years. Eventually the couple realize their urban lifestyle leaves them ill-prepared for life in the countryside. Hostile and indifferent neighbors don’t make settling in easy—especially when a bad winter storm hits.
With Will frequently absent and working in London, Hannah finds herself fixing up the old place alone. A series of bizarre incidents in and around the house leave her unnerved. A serious accusation against her, coupled with the activities of a strangely withdrawn local woman, lays everything on the line. Hannah wonders if all her hopes, all she’s working for, and perhaps even her very life will end in failure.
A few observations on the story’s editing: The characters are said to travel to and from Suffolk via London Paddington Station, but the eastern part of England is served only by the main line from London Liverpool Street Station. Given that the author lives in London, it’s a glaring mistake to make. Several Americanisms such as saying “cookies” instead of “biscuits” have found their way into the text as well. However, the strength of Millar’s prose draws the reader in with its intriguing mystery in spite of some factual errors.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews