When a lake dries up and reveals the remnants of Brackendale Green, an old deserted village, Laura is spurred on by her grandmother, Stella, to visit. The village has a particular significance for Stella as it was where she grew up before having to leave to make way for the new dam. What secret does the village hold and will Laura be able to uncover it before Brackendale Green, once again, disappears underwater?
Like Kathleen McGurl’s previous books (The Pearl Locket, The Emerald Comb, The Daughters of Red Hill Hall and The Girl from Ballymor), The Drowned Village has a dual time frame, told from the modern-day perspective of Laura, and her grandmother, Stella, in 1935, then an eleven-year-old girl. The stories told in both eras are equally as compelling and their plots tie together seamlessly to provide an entertaining read.
While there are elements of the plot that came as no surprise as the story progressed, this was not a problem as I was so engrossed in what was happening. It is testament to the author’s description that, as I was reading, I was transported back to 1935, and could truly visualise the landscape and houses making up the village of Brackendale Green.
In stories of this genre, the two time frames are often generations apart so it was nice to have the same character, Stella, featuring in both. This also provided a stark reminder to anyone interested in their own family history that they should speak to older relatives now while they have the chance. Although Laura was able to discover the circumstances surrounding her grandmother’s past, she realised that if it wasn’t for the re-emerging of the village, there would be a fascinating and emotive story that would have gone undiscovered.
Due to my love of crime and genealogical fiction, Kathleen McGurl’s books tick all the boxes for me and The Drowned Village is no exception. This is a great, easy read that is highly recommended.
With thanks to HQ and Net Galley for my ARC.