#Review The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason @amandajanemason @ZaffreBooks @ClaireJKelly #TheWaywardGirls #KnockOnce


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The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason     Zaffre  September 5th 2019


Is there anybody there?

One knock for yes …

Two knocks for no … 



Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurrences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .


Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

My Review

A derelict farmhouse, and mysterious happenings made the Wayward Girls one of those novels perfect to read on a dark night, the chill and bleakness perfectly marching the themes and events of the story.

Primarily the story of two young sisters Loo and Bee, Mason seemlessly flipped the story between past and present.

The present, an investigation into the past hauntings of the farmhouse experiences by Bee and Loo, the past, the real time events that would have consequences for the family for the rest of their lives.

It was Mason’s ability to control these two aspects, to slowly build links, to unravel a web of lies and deceit that so impressed.

You could feel the chill and the fear, the knocks, the vividness of the sounds, the moving furniture, the shady recesses and images in the darkened rooms.

The two young sisters, so different, so close their fear tangible, oozing from the page. Loo most affected, the one who returned years later to assist against her better judgement with the investigation. You could sense her unease, the tensions and fear from the past brought to the fore, painful relationships with siblings and a mother, harried and lost in the quagmire of motherhood, brilliantly portrayed by Mason.

I can’t say I liked Bee, older, manipulative, jealous of the attention pressed on Loo. There was something not quite right, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it as Mason kept you guessing.

Mason certainly knew how to ramp up the tension, how to effortlessly mingle the past with the present, to hurl her characters into a maelstrom of jealousy, and deceit. It was a novel that proved addictive, the narrative compelling, the pages turned at a furious rate, the urge to uncover the truth whatever it may be all encompassing.

A fantastic debut and cannot wait for Mason’s next offering.

I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of The Wayward Girls to read and review and to Claire Kelly for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to review.

About the author



Amanda Mason was born and brought up in Whitby, North Yorks. She studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, where she began writing by devising and directing plays. After a few years of earning a very irregular living in lots of odd jobs, including performing in a comedy street magic act, she became a teacher and has worked in the UK, Italy, Spain, and Germany. She now lives in York and has given up teaching for writing. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. The Wayward Girls, her debut novel, was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers prize.

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