Review – The House on Rye Lane by Susan Allott
The House on Rye Lane by Susan Allott is a riveting narrative woven through three distinct timelines, imbuing Peckham’s Rye Lane with a character of its own. The book crafts an atmospheric tale of a house steeped in misfortune, where the walls seem to breathe with an unsettling presence that influences its occupants.
With well-developed characters ensnared in the house’s malevolent grip, the story unravels their personalities and fates with a sense of impending doom. It’s a masterclass in creating an ambiance of overwhelming dread, making it an unforgettable read for fans of psychological thrillers.
The blurb starts out with
They thought they’d found their dream home. They were wrong.
And that perfectly sums up the book, relationships wither and die in this house. It either attracts people down on their luck or is a malevolent entity that slowly, subtly encroaches into inhabitants lives, twisting their emotions, eventually leading to ruin. Suffice to say,
the refrain of everyone who has lived at this house in Rye Lane, is not wrong
1843. Horatio built this house for his beloved wife, who then died in mysterious circumstances. I liked this period for the history of the area. I’ve lived in Peckham and know Rye Lane but this timeline made me consider Peckham before it was a bustling urban hub. I like finding out new information about things I already know.
1994. Cookie and his parents have been forced by his dad’s gambling debts to move into the attic room of a big old house, as lodgers. My favourite timeline because it took a while to work out what was going on, eventhough sadness and turmoil in teens is a tender spot for me.
2008. The house Maxine and Seb have just bought was a bargain – a huge Georgian townhouse on the edge of Peckham Rye, it needs a lot of work but Max couldn’t resist it. Now they are in, though, nothing seems to be going right. The slow reveal of their relationship in the context of 2008 was sublime, you knew things would go wrong because of the house but not how.
Connections are unveiled in The House on Rye Lane
Fundamentally, The House on Rye Lane is about relationships. The house as an entity made you ruminate on relationships, how they work, what happens when they don’t and the ties that bind. It also made me introspective and consider the things you tell yourself to make yourself feel better and whether lying to ourselves is ever a good tactic.
My thanks to HarperCollinsUK and NetGalley for a digital advance copy of this book in exchange for a review. A cracking read.
5 Stars - It Was Amazing