Monday, September 26, 2022

The White Hare by Jane Johnson

In the far west of Cornwall lies the White Valley, which cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea at White Cove. The valley has a long and bloody history, laced with folklore, and in it sits a house above the beach that has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation and a strange atmosphere, which is why mother and daughter Magdalena and Mila manage to acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda has grand plans to restore the house to its former glory as a venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for cocktails and for bracing walks along the coast. Her grown daughter, Mila, just wants to escape the scandal in her past and make a safe and happy home for her little girl, Janey, a solitary, precocious child blessed with a vivid imagination, much of which she pours into stories about her magical plush toy, Rabbit.

But Janey’s rabbit isn’t the only magical being around. Legend has it that an enchanted white hare may be seen running through the woods. Is it an ill omen or a blessing? As Mila, her mother, and her young daughter adjust to life in this mysterious place, they will have to reckon with their own pasts and with the secrets that have been haunting the White Valley for decades. 

Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2022 
by Simon Schuster
3/5 stars

This is my second book by Jane Johnson, I loved her last one, The SeaGate.  Her covers are an attention grabber with the mystical vibes that showcase a house on the moors with a story to tell.

The White Hare is told from the POV of Mila who along with her young daughter Jane and cranky mother Magda relocate to Cornwall.  Its a time of transition and a fresh start.

This got off to a good start with the eerie country side, mysterious rabbit/hare, a house that people are afraid of and an interesting cast of characters.  As the renovations begin of this manor so starts accidents, things disappearing and there is a chill in the air that promises a story with a supernatural vibe.  I was sucked in and felt those vibes.  

While there were things I enjoyed, I wanted to know more about Magda and what made her so darn miserable as well as more about the mysterious Jack. And while those thoughts are answered it wasn't till very late in the story.  In fact I found after the first 1/4 things just flatted out.

The White Hare is a story of relationships, secrets of the past and mystical vibes. A unique plot that is intricately woven, it was atmospheric with supernatural vibes. But with the slow moving plot and underwhelming conclusion this book didn’t wow me like The Seagate did.

My thanks to Simon & Schurster CA for a print ARC in exchange for a honest review.

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