A March Indie Next Pick and a 2020 Most Anticipated by Angela Lashbrook for Medium on hardback, it’s been compared to The Essex Serpent by BookPage and described as “a strong debut, full of creepy cliffhangers, lovely descriptions and a believably inelegant heroine.” The paperback has a glossy new look and we can’t wait for new readers to meet Hetty and the cast of animals at Lockwood Manor, after the debut reached No.4 in the Times chart and won the HWA Debut Crown Award in the UK.
Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation and Light from Other Stars, adored Jane’s debut, saying “Jane Healey has created an eerie puzzle box of a book and a gothic in the tradition’s best sense. A fading great house filled with taxidermy is the perfect backdrop for Healey’s facile atmospheric prose, which brings to mind both Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry. Tense, broody, romantic and subversive, The Animals of Lockwood Manor is a deeply consuming read and a fantastic novel to get lost in.”
In August 1939, thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright arrives at Lockwood Manor to oversee a natural history museum collection, whose contents have been taken out of London for safekeeping. She is unprepared for the scale of protecting her charges from party guests, wild animals, the elements, the tyrannical Major Lockwood and Luftwaffe bombs. Most of all, she is unprepared for the beautiful and haunted Lucy Lockwood.
For Lucy, who has spent much of her life cloistered at Lockwood suffering from bad nerves, the arrival of the museum brings with it new freedoms. But it also resurfaces memories of her late mother, and nightmares in which Lucy roams Lockwood hunting for something she has lost.
When the animals appear to move of their own accord, and exhibits go missing, they begin to wonder what exactly it is that they might need protection from. And as the disasters mount up, it is not only Hetty’s future employment that is in danger, but her own sanity too. There’s something, or someone, in the house. Someone stalking her through its darkened corridors . . .
Jane’s next novel is just a few months away too, and you can read more about The Ophelia Girls here.