Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver


1906: A large manor house, Wake's End, sits on the edge of a bleak Fen, just outside the town of Wakenhyrst. It is the home of Edmund Stearn and his family – a historian, scholar and land-owner, he's an upstanding member of the local community. But all is not well at Wake's End. Edmund dominates his family tyrannically, in particular daughter Maud. When Maud's mother dies in childbirth and she's left alone with her strict, disciplinarian father...

Details Wakenhyrst

Release DateApr 11th, 2019
PublisherHead of Zeus
GenreHorror, Historical, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fiction, Mystery

Reviews Wakenhyrst

  • Paromjit
    This is a glorious piece of Edwardian gothic historical fiction from Michelle Paver, it has elements of horror and madness, set in the remote village of Wakenhyrst, surrounded by the fens of Suffolk at the start of the 20th century. The isolated manor house of Wake's End is owned by local landowner, historian and scholar Edmund Stearne, in the midst of Guthlaf's fen, an area bursting with superstitions, folklore, myths and legends, of the dreaded...
  • Amalia Gavea
    The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I thought: No wonder Mauds mad.Hold this beautiful book in your hands. Let your eyes feast on the haunting magpie and the blood-red stains. Concentrate on the images that will - no doubt- start flooding your mind. Εach and every thought...
  • Beata
    This Victorian/Edwardian gothic novel was a compulsive read that kept me awake till small hours ... It has everything I love about the genre: dramatic location, mystery, folklore and beautiful writing style. I was captivated by the way the story unravels, from the very first pages you feel the evil that in somewhere there, in the Fens? at Wake's End? In Edmund Stearn's mind? Maud Stearn, Edmund's daughter, now an elderly lady who still lives at W...
  • Peter
    What a brilliant gothic novel! Edmund Stearne, master of Wakenhyrst, becomes obsessed with a painting (The Doom) and sees himself haunted by demons. Stearne has a dark secret from his childhood when his younger sister Lilly drowned. The story is told by his daughter Maud, who secretely read his journals (great perspectives here; loved that diary driven prose). You'll find out many things about Maud: her first love, her love to animals (the chatte...
  • Annet
    Something has been let loose...Quite a creepy, entertaining read, well told. Reads easily. Intriguing. Mix of history, fantasy, horror, as the cover rightly says 'a masterfully creepy gothic thriller'(The Bookseller). Yes, liked it, like many here I believe! Blessed is the man who endureth manifold troubles, for whereas he is tried, then shall he receive everlasting reward... This is the book description:In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands...
  • Dannii Elle
    Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.This is the perfect atmospheric read to accompany these gloomy winter evenings.The Gothic wildness of the fens is almost untouched by the heft of man that seems to be overtaking the rest of the world. It is a place undisturbed, expect by undefinable shrieks at night, the ghosts of superstition and folklore, and one lone mansion that borders the wilderness. Inside this house, the occupants largely attempt to exist in tota...
  • Emma
    This was such a treat! Gothic suspense, the creepy fens, insanity...everything I could have wished for. Maud was a fantastic character, idiosyncratic, feisty, intelligent battling against the history and the superstitions of Wakenhyrst and her father. Her deep love of the fens, of Chatterpie, of Clem made her such a sympathetic character and pulled at my heart strings.
  • Marchpane
    A creepy gothic whydunnit, set in the fens of Suffolk, Wakenhyrst is gripping from the first page. This is a story of obsession, madness, delusion, superstition. Wakenhyrst mostly takes place in the early 20th century, just prior to the first World War, and combines creepy medieval church art; old religious notions of witchcraft, demonic possession, and saintly miracles; lingering pagan superstitions (leaving a bowl of bread and milk at the doo...
  • Bradley
    I have a lot of good things to say about this book. It has a great atmosphere, going the full gothic feel, stifling Edwardian English culture right before WWI, and it always sticks to its course, landing the ending with a near-perfect pitch. It is written very well.It fulfills every promise of the standard gothic mystery formula. And I also have something bad to say about this novel: It fulfills every promise of the standard gothic mystery formul...
  • Trish
    I have to thank Waterstones' twitter account for telling me about this book. We have here a gothic mystery complete with puzzling murder, eerie setting and possibly some magic.Meet Maude. She's the daughter of Edmund Stearn, a historian, scholar and land-owner. When we first meet her in this book, she's an old woman who has to tell her tale in order to raise enough money to keep her home, Wake's End, running (Hollywood is interested in the tale)....
  • Susan
    Having enjoyed, Dark Matter, and Thin Air, I was delighted to receive Michelle Pavers new novel, to review. The story begins in 1966, with the discovery of three paintings, by Edmund Stearne, which have taken the art world by storm. Edmund Stearne was committed to an asylum, where he created his only artworks and now a reporter wants to unearth the story behind the paintings. In order to do so, Paver takes us back to 1913, and a house on the Fens...
  • ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
    Edwardian/Gothic mysteries are among my favourite genres, and this one delivered those chills in all their glory!A very enjoyable mystery, a story of madness and delusion: if you, like me, love this genre, I absolutely suggest you give it a try! Of course, as for every genres, there are tropes and such and they are very present in this one as well... but, overall, the story was entertaining enough, the characters well-developed (if a little predi...
  • Paul
    A gothic tale set in the fens and marshes of Eastern England, most specifically Suffolk. It is set between 1906 and 1913 when many of the old folklore and customs of the fens and marshes were still believed. There are all too few truly wild fens and marshes left, but this is set in one of them. There is a prelude set in 1966, when Maude Stearne aged 69 looks back on the childhood when the novel is set. At the centre of the story is her tyrannical...
  • Lou
    Wakenhyrst has been a long time in the making, so I was hoping it would live up to my expectations, but it absolutely blew me away and exceeded them beyond what I could ever have realistically imagined. It's a darkly gothic historical tale rich in its imagery and the creepy atmosphere Paver creates in the setting of a haunted manor house is deliciously oppressive. This is essentially a gothic mystery with a dual timeline set in 1913 and 1966 and ...
  • Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
    It was not me who discovered Michelle Paver about five years ago, but my daughter when she pulled The Wolf Brothers off the shelf at our local library and then read all six books of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness in short succession. So you may forgive me, that I had Michelle Paver down as a middle grade author until I saw Wakenhyrst on the shelf at the same library but this time in the adult section of new and notable releases. The magpie on...
  • Bill Lynas
    Dark Matter & Thin Air were both excellent ghost stories from the very talented Michelle Paver. Here is her third adult novel (having also written Young Adult books) which takes us away from the frozen settings of her previous stories & gives us England in the early 20th century. Maud is a young girl, living with her repressive father (after her mother dies) in a house on the Suffolk Fens. She is a beautifully drawn character, as are her father &...
  • Nancy
    After listening to "Dark Matter" by Michelle Paver I wanted to try another of her books. Chose the audio version of Wakenhyrst and think Juanita McMahon did a great job at interpreting and presenting the different characters. Her ability to capture emotions, in Edmund Stearn's case "disdain" toward everyone and especially toward women, and individualize the personalities made it possible to identify a particular point of view or the set of values...
  • Roman Clodia
    After loving Paver's Dark Matter and Thin Air, this book didn't work so well for me. The two earlier books were tight and ambiguous, and because we only saw the story through one set of eyes we were left hovering deliciously on that edge between haunting or a form of madness. Plus they were shivering-scary.This feels more laboured, with a constant switching between narratives: Paver's strengths show in Edmund Stearne's diary - the gradual revelat...
  • BrokenTune
    DNF @ 35% Baaah. This turned into an incredibly cliched and boring story at around the 20% mark. Even tho the story picks up pace a little after we get to the father's journal, it is still an incredibly annoying and boring story with none of the characters being really interesting. Is this meant to be YA?That's what it reads like to me, and that really is not a good thing.Anyway, on to something more engaging.
  • Shorty
    This fantastic gothic novel was a compulsive read that kept me awake till small hours of this morning. It has everything I love about the genre: a beautiful location, some mystery, lots of folklore, and great, understandable characters. I was held in thrall by the way the story unravels, from the very first pages, and the and captivating writing style. We all knew what was coming, and thats fine with me. What was the best part was the getting the...
  • Veronique
    Having loved Pavers previous ghost stories, I was very much looking forward to this new story. It didnt disappoint!Once more, the author goes for a gothic feel, even using a frame to her narrative in the shape of a newspaper article bringing back to the fore the infamous case of a certain Edmund Stearne who killed a worker and was as a result declared insane. Journalist Patrick Rippon succeeds in getting an interview with Stearnes daughter, now i...
  • Indieflower
    What a treat this book was! A fantastically atmospheric book laden with all the gothic themes I love, madness, obsession, gloom, untimely death, forbidden love and misery (crikey, I'm not sure what that says about me 😬) I even loved the cover. All the characters were well drawn, even the misty, marshy Suffolk fens felt like a dark and foreboding character. I absolutely loved Maud and really rooted for her throughout the whole story and complet...
  • Carol Jones
    Put together a tyrannical intellectual father, a lonely yet inquisitive daughter, and a cast of superstitious servants with a rambling mansion in the midst of the fens and you have all the ingredients of a classic gothic tale. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward Stearn discovers a lost medieval painting during renovations to the village church. He becomes obsessed with the hellish creatures it depicts. As he descends into madness, it is left ...
  • Emma Garland
    Wakenhyrst Is a delectable tale that oozes with gothic charm. Beautifully written, it is truly captivating and I couldnt put it down... Maud Stearne is an inquisitive, intelligent child. She lives at wakes end, a Manor House next to the fens with her father Edmund Stearne, mother and brother. She craves her fathers attention and at the same time fears him. Edmund merely tolerates the children, never touches them and rarely speaks to them. He is u...
  • Amanda
    This was outstanding. Ive got to read move of Pavers work. This was outstanding. I’ve got to read move of Paver’s work.
  • KBookblogger
    Deliciously dark ! The devil in the corner is real. - P505The mere was utterly forbidden, the haunt of ferishes and will-o-the-wisps that dragged you to a miry death... In the deep green murk she saw the skeleton of drowned weeds. - P91Dont you know its bad luck to kill a magpie? - P302 Deliciously dark ! “The devil in the corner is real.” - P505“The mere was utterly forbidden, the haunt of ferishes and will-‘o-the-wisps that dragged yo...
  • Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
    Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver is a gothic mystery set in a fen in Edwardian Suffolk surrounded by folklore, superstition and legends. The ancient manor house of Wake's End near the hamlet of Wakenhyrst has been Maud's home for the past 50 years where she's lived as a recluse. Maud's story is closely connected with that of her father, historian Edmund Stearne and the mystery of the crime he committed in 1913. The reader is taken back in time to Mau...
  • Victoria Gilbert
    ⭐⭐⭐💫Firstly thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book. Having read Pavers other work, I was very much looking forward to this one.As with Pavers other work the location is a character in itself. The Fens are perfectly described and she evokes the terrible and dangerous yet beautiful and bewitching atmosphere of this place. I found the main character of Maud impressive in how she finds her strength in adversity. The...
  • Kate
    Michelle Paver does it again. This time we're firmly in Gothic mystery territory with creepy goings on in a mansion in the Suffolk fens during the first years of the 19th century. This book is steeped in atmosphere as well as the stench and slime of the fen itself, a place loathed by Maud's father but adored by Maud herself. The psychology of both characters is the subject here and it's engrossing as well as beautifully depicted. This is a place ...