Set in modern day Yorkshire, England, and the Yorkshire of 1777, it is the story of a mistreated teenage girl, Jennet, a recent orphan, who is taken advantage of by the local powerful gentry guy, and the ensuing misfortunes arising from that, forcing her to curse not only him but his family and the entire village. The village decides she is a witch, and need I say more?
What has this got to do with Emma, a successful modern day author of pirate fantasies? Well, she and the hubs, an architect, build a place by the reservoir of that very 1700’s village. The village was purposefully flooded and destroyed when the local government built the dam creating the reservoir back in the ummmm 60s, I think. Their nearest neighbors are a family which has renovated an old derelict cottage dating back from the time of the benighted Jennet.
Emma, the writer, has an old stone inkpot she found in a crumbling wall years ago. She puts it on display in her new office in the house. And then she hears church bells — from the drowned church. Her neighbor tells her that when you hear the bells, it means Jennet has come back.
Jennet’s curse is that all the Ramsgills – he of the offending deed — would die each generation, leaving only one Ramsgill in each generation to carry on with the loss. And guess what, the nice neighbor lady is married to a Ramsgill. Yep, a descendant of that accursed family.
I don’t want to tell you too much, because I want you to read it, but I will say there is a baby involved, and water, and fire.
I love stories about generational curses. I wonder if they really exist? I believe you can effectively curse the current crop, because the mind has a lot to do with what happens to you, like in Vodou, but I don’t believe you can effectively curse someone secretly. Your target has to know about the curse.
This is a fine example of mixing the old with the current, and has good writing, exciting scenes, and stuff I wish I didn’t know about, me being the Pollyanna that I am.
There is a sequel, I believe, but there shouldn’t be. It should stop right here. There doesn’t need to be any more to this.
There is indeed a modern day Thruscross Reservoir, and it covers the drowned village of West End.