The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

The Shadow Year

Photo Credit: Goodreads



*This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review.

The Shadow Year

On a sultry summer’s day in 1980, five friends stumble upon an abandoned lakeside cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. For Kat and her friends, it offers an escape; a chance to drop out for a while, with lazy summer days by the lake and intimate winter evenings around the fire. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise and when an unexpected visitor appears at their door, nothing will be the same again.

Three decades later, Lila arrives at the same remote cottage. With her marriage in crisis, she finds solace in renovating the tumbledown house. Little by little she wonders about the previous inhabitants. How did they manage in such isolation? Why did they leave in such a hurry, with their belongings still strewn about? Most disturbing of all, why can t she shake the feeling that someone might be watching her?

The Shadow Year is a story of secrets, tragedy, lies and betrayal. It’s a tale that explores the light and dark of human relationships and the potential the past has to not only touch our present, but also to alter our future.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

This is my first Hannah Richell book and wow! At first, I was a bit “meh” about the book- I think because I had many other books to read and I was just not sure about reading a new book. But, I kept on with the book and I am so glad!

The setting- the setting is an interesting one. Lila was a likeable character- you knew that she was suffering. You knew that there was something that had happened, but even when you begin finding out things- you never were quite sure you had the whole story.

The other characters, the 1980 group- well, honestly at times, they were unlikeable. While I understood, to a point, the whole wanting a year to themselves, to live life how they want- I guess, I didn’t completely relate to that aspect!

The beginning, where Lila finds out about the place, well, I was intrigued by that. Who hasn’t wanted to find out they have inherited something, but also very mysterious as to the whole why!

I feel all jumbled as I’m writing this review- probably because my thoughts are still going all over the place..I’m going to bottom line this: Give it a chance. Yes, it’s a bit slow to start, Yes, there are some unlikeable characters. But, by the end- it really does not matter. The story, the plot, the setting- it’s worth a read!


*This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off


4 thoughts on “The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

  1. Melissa says:

    Was this an easy read for you even though it was a slow start? It doesn’t sound like a feel good book but a good read.

  2. I wasn’t sure about this when I started it either. Some books just grab me from the first line, but for a lot of them, I feel like the writing style can feel strange to me until I get into the book. Perhaps a side effect of analyzing writing now that I write reviews 🙂 This was definitely one of the books that felt off to me at first, with too many details for me to see the big picture, but as soon as I got into it, I loved it. Yet another great She Reads read!

    • YES! For me, I was just overwhelmed with other books, my niece, planning some travel and just could not always focus. So during the early part, when it was not catching my attention so much, it was so easy to set it aside. UNTIL I got to the good parts! I don’t know how it happens, but She Reads has some great picks!

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