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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuesday - First Chapter - First Paragraph - Black Rabbit Hall



Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading.  This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.  This will be another entry into my Gothic Fiction Challenge.  I actually ordered this one last year from the UK after reading about it on another blog - can't remember which one.  And I like the US cover better, so that's the one I'm showing.  See what you think:





Amber, last day of the summer holiday, 1969, Cornwall
     I feel safe on the cliff ledge, safer than in the house anyway.  A few feet from the coast path, it's a twenty-minute scramble from the edge of the estate, far enough from Black Rabbit Hall's watching windows, a secret place.  I hover on the cliff above it for a moment or two, wind snapping my dress against my legs, soles of my feet tingling, then lower myself carefully, gripping the clumps of grass, sea roaring in my ears. (Best not to look down.)  One small heart-stop drop and I'm perching right on the edge of sky.
     Jump too wide, it's all over.  I wouldn't do it.  But it occurs to me that I like the fact I could.  That I have some control over my destiny today.
     Pressed against the cliff wall, I finally catch my breath.  So much frantic searching:  woods, rooms, endless stairs.  Heels rubbed raw in too-small plimsolls.  And I still haven't found them.  Where are they?  Shading my eyes from the sky dazzle with my hand, I scan the bottle-green cliff tops on the other side of the cove.  Deserted.  Only cattle in the fields.


Blurb:

Ghosts are everywhere, not just the ghost of Momma in the woods, but ghosts of us too, what we used to be like in those long summers . . .

Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate, where no two clocks read the same.  Summers there are perfect, timeless.  Not much ever happens.  Until, of course, it does.

More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals.  But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, half-buried memories of her mother begin to surface and Lorna soon finds herself ensnared within the manor’s labyrinthine history, overcome with an insatiable need for answers about her own past and that of the once-happy family whose memory still haunts the estate.

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First of all, I'd never be able to perch myself on any kind of cliff.  I get vertigo in glass elevators.  However, I was intrigued by what Amber did.  I want to know who she is searching for.  This reminds me of the one book I've read so far by Kate Morton.  Hoping for a good gothic here.

50 comments:

  1. Mm... I'm not usually keen on ghostly stories but this one keeps catching my eye - I do like the U.S. cover too!

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    1. I'm not sure this is really a ghost story, Cleo. Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not and is more a psychological thing.

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  2. Whoa - that first paragraph is tense! I'm not really a ghost story reader, so this is probably not for me.

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    1. I'm not really sure this is a ghost story Margot. I guess we'll see. I'm thinking probably more of a psychological story, with 'ghosts' of the past.

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  3. That's a great intro (I need to get to this one). I'm with you on glass elevator fright:)

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    1. It's a serious thing for me. I almost have to close my eyes. LOL

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  4. I think I requested this one on Netgalley because it sounded amazing! And now I want it so badly :O that opening describes exactly what I love about cliff tops and it also sets up the tension very well. I'm going to have to get this one somehow! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great next week!
    My Tuesday Post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli, I'll let you have the cliff top. LOL

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  5. I'm with you on the cliff sitting! And most things high up. It does sound like it will be a great suspenseful read!

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    1. It does, doesn't it? Hoping so.

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  6. Kay, I saw a review of this recently too and thought it would be good. I love the name of it. I'll keep my eyes opened for it!

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    1. Isn't that a great name for the house? And who would want their wedding at a house like that? A Goth maybe.

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  7. I'm about 80 pages in to this one and am really enjoying it. That cliff sitting made me a bit dizzy and I don't get vertigo!

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    1. Great. You'll finish before I start very likely and then I'll know more. LOL

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  8. I've been meaning to start this one and have read good things about it. Enjoy!

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    1. I've heard good things too. Thanks, Catherine.

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  9. Oh I think this one is for me. Sounds like a Victoria Holt novel.

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    1. Yep, I think you'd probably like it. When I finish it, I'll bring it to group and you can read it.

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  10. Keep reading! I enjoyed this one, especially the past portions of the story.

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    1. Ah, thanks for the tips Kathy. Good to know that you liked it.

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  11. I am so afraid of heights and especially ledges...I can't even look when I see a character on a ledge in a movie or show. But I want to know more! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. I'm with you, Laurel-Rain. You should see me creeping up to a viewpoint in the mountains. I feel like a little kid.

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  12. Just the word 'gothic' scares me. ha!

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    1. Oh Nan. It probably won't be that scary. LOL

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  13. I'm not big on gothic, but I've heard good things about this one.

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  14. Hehe, now that's a gothic theme if I ever heard one. Sounds really good, Kay. And I wouldn't go near a ledge, a cliff, the balcony of a concert hall, etc. I have extreme phobias of falling from great heights, claustrophobia, and drowning.

    I hope you share your thoughts on it at a later date. I'm intrigued by it and it's a new one for me.

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    1. I will share my thoughts, Rita, when I get it read. It may be a while. My reading time has been limited lately. :-)

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  15. A great opening, filled with foreboding. What's she searching for? Why does she feel more comfortable on the edge of a cliff than she does at Black Rabbit Hall? The author makes me want to know more.
    My Tuesday post features THE ALL-GIRL FILLING STATION’S LAST REUNION by Fannie Flagg.

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    1. Sandra, I love how you summarize the blurb and intro into a little paragraph. You do that all the time and it's really fun to read your comments.

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  16. I love the intro to this one, Kay. I am in between books right now and so many of the openings today are of books I have waiting for me to read, including this one. This is making my decision making harder! I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. I know. Today is really a good day for adding to the TBR, right?

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  17. I love that cover! The first person present tense would put me off though... but I'm intrigued to hear how you get on with it. :)

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    1. I liked the cover from the US better. I think the dark colors make it seem more gothic. :-)

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  18. I'm always attracted to this kind of Gothic setting, add a mystery or psychological suspense, and I'm in. Cornwall is a particularly beautiful area with dramatic scenery and lots of intriguing history.

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  19. Very intriguing! And I love that cover, too!

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  20. I am seeing this book around and it sounds really good!

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  21. I love the cover. It sounds like it could be a great story. I hope you enjoy it. Girl Who Reads

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  22. I checked out the other cover, and I like the US one better too. More Gothic-y. That intro has me hooked!

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    1. Sounds very promising doesn't it?

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  23. Yes, this one sounds good. I wonder who she's looking for too.

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    1. Guess I'll have to read it and find out, right?

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  24. OMG, what a BEAUTIFUL opening! I even learned a new word: "plimsoll". But this opening....totally evocative, totally atmospheric. I want to have this book in my hands RIGHT NOW. I am already in the story! WOW.

    You're so right about the UK cover, too. I have just checked out this novel on Goodreads (and added it, too!). This cover is MUCH more beautiful! So, when I order the book, I will make sure to do so from The Book Depository, so I can get this cover.

    Thanks for putting this book on my radar! Also, thanks for visiting and commenting on my own Tuesday Intros post!! :)

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    1. You are very welcome and glad you learned a new word. :-)

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  25. Great opening and definitely I'd want to know what next! I also have to read and am looking forward to it. For some reason the cover and premise makes me think of a Barbara Michael's or Mary Stewart book.

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    1. It does seem like Michaels or Stewart - both favorites of mine.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!