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Rawblood Paperback – 8 Sep 2016

3.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (8 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780229143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780229140
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.5 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

From Victorian ghost story to anti-war polemic and back again: I raged, wept and hid under the bed covers. As full of science as it is the supernatural, this is a hauntingly brilliant virtuoso performance. (Emma Healey author of ELIZABETH IS MISSING)

Gloriously dark and claustrophobic, Rawblood is a haunting gothic novel of intelligence and complexity. It has many echoes of the classics but is entirely its own book. (Essie Fox, author of THE SOMNAMBULIST)

A gothic tale of love and madness, this atmospheric and chilling story drew me in from the first page, and kept me up at night, until I reached the last (Claire Fuller, author of OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS)

The story crosses generations, from Victorian England to World War I, and is told by a number of different voices, going back and forth in time and drawing the reader into their thrall. With a ghostly face at the window, inexplicable events and a sense of menace hanging over every page, this is one chilling gothic novel (Fanny Blake Daily Mail)

plenty of twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat. (WOMAN AND HOME)

Chillingly good (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express S Magazine)

As a meta-examination of the Gothic genre (it's mostly set in the 19th Century( and as a straightforward tale of grisly haunting, Ward's novel is remarkably successful. (THE SPECTATOR)

carried off in fine style (LITERARY REVIEW)

an impressively hectic spin on the Gothic tradition (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Rawblood makes a powerful contribution to the British literature of the fantastic. It's an epic family saga incorporating a great Gothic house, built upon a lyrically rendered regional landscape, from which the numinous rises as if it is a natural function of the setting. There's a touch of Ted Hughes here, Emily Bronte and M.R James in this eerie and by turns moving story that spans generations. It filled my head for several evenings, and will linger there too . . . A definite book of the year for me (Adam Nevill, author of THE RITUAL)

Beautifully written, in equal parts both terrifying and heart-breaking, RAWBLOOD is a dazzlingly brilliant Gothic masterpiece. Reminiscent of FRANKENSTEIN but better (Sarah Pinborough, author of 13 MINUTES)

Elegiac in its prose and haunting in its imagery, Rawblood is a precisely and beautifully woven tapestry through which threads of darkness wind their inevitable way. Ward has crafted a sweeping saga of madness in all its forms that will chill you to the bones and draw you into its murky depths (Charlie Lovett, author of 'The Bookman’s Tale' and 'First Impressions')

A story to satisfy the most gothic of hearts. I was hooked on the very first page and [RAWBLOOD] never let me go. Sentence by sentence, Catriona Ward made herself one of my very favorite writers (Kelly Link, 2016 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, author of GET IN TROUBLE)

Elegiac in its prose and haunting in its imagery, [Rawblood] is a precisely and beautifully woven tapestry through which threads of darkness wind their inevitable way. Ward has crafted a sweeping saga of madness in all its forms that will chill you to the bones and draw you into its murky depths (Charlie Lovett, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE BOOKMAN'S TALE and FIRST IMPRESSIONS)

Beautifully written Gothic. It is rare to find such sumptuous prose (A.K. Benedict, author of THE BEAUTY OF MURDER)

RAWBLOOD weaves a spell that both terrifies and mesmerizes. As each layer of mystery is peeled away, more haunting truth is revealed. The book leaves the reader breathless in its gothic tale of fear, family, blood, and love (Simone St. James, author of THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE)

Brilliant -- RAWBLOOD is the old-school gothic novel I have been waiting for. While it delivers everything I want from a "haunted house/family curse" story it is still stunningly original. I have never read anything like it and that's saying something. (Mike Mignola, creator of HELLBOY)

A lush, macabre, chillingly good tale. From the modern horrors of man - medical experiments, war - to the ancient power of the natural world,The Girl from Rawblood is not only a ghost story of the highest order, but a sublime meditation on the things that hold us captive: fidelity, fear, memory, love (Leslie Parry, author of THE CHURCH OF MARVELS)

Book Description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2016
'Hauntingly brilliant' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing
A chilling ghost story set on Dartmoor for fans of Daphne du Maurier, Susan Hill and Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Samuel TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rawblood is the first novel by Catriona Ward, and it really is a corker. Rawblood is a mansion of Dartmoor that is home to the Villarca family. The house (and thus the family) are subject to a curse, whereby family members die in grotesque and strange ways, somehow linked to a ghost that haunts the house. They try to pass the deaths off as being caused by a hereditary disease, but that doesn't always work...

I'm not sure what has impressed me most here. The language (and the setting) are gothic in style, and I felt genuinely unsettled when reading portions of the book - which I read in three evening sessions. The surroundings are almost as important as the people, and the way they are described reminds me of Shelley, or even The Hound of the Baskervilles, also set in this part of the world. The viewpoint of the story moves around, both in person and in time, and the revealing of the family's history is a multi-layered thing that leads to a denouement that I really didn't see coming.

The author has come up with a gothic horror novel that is generally scary, in many ways quite original, and to my mind the equal of any of the classics such as Frankenstein. It sucks you in and keeps you riveted, and in a sign that this was a genuinely chilling book, after finishing the book, I went to sleep with the bedside light on. Beautifully written, and a disturbing and worrying story that deserves to be a classic of the genre. Definitely recommended.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
We first meet Iris Villarca in 1910 when she is eleven. She lives with her father at Rawblood, a lovely house on Dartmoor. However, although her existence appears idyllic, there are dark issues beneath the surface. The Villarca’s always die young and Iris’s father has implemented, ‘The Rules.’ This means that Iris and her father must live alone, with no servants and no friends. Iris only has one friend – Tom Gilmore, a local boy – but even that is forbidden.

This novel ranges backwards and forwards through the life of young Iris Villarca; who is taught to always be quiet and not go among people or to towns because of the disease. However, despite the fact that she respects her father and tries her best to obey, it is obvious that Tom is going to be the cause of her breaking the rules and – as we discover – her problems are echoed throughout her family. For people are not meant to live solitary lives and Iris, and the reader, gradually begin to discover both what the disease the Villarca’s suffer from actually is and what happened to other members of Iris’s family.

This creepy and unsettling novel has the perfect setting in the great house of Rawblood, sitting up on the moors and acting almost as a beacon to the Villarca family. We read of Charles Danforth, a medical student from 1881, who befriends Alonso Villarca, his sister Meg, and of Mary Hopewell and Hephzibah Brigstocke and their story in 1839. Gradually, the reason becomes clear to Iris, but can she break the family curse? I enjoyed this supernatural novel and thought it had a good cast of characters, while the author managed all the intertwining storylines with ease. Perfect reading as winter draws on and an interesting, rather than scary, read. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2015
Format: Hardcover
It seems quite difficult to believe that this is a début novel, there is a certain touch and skill here that you would expect to see in an author who has been around the block a few times. Starting in 1910 this tale goes to after the First World War, and also back into the first half of the 19th Century, indeed you could argue that in one place it goes back to when this island was first populated. Told in a multiple narrative form we hear here from different characters, as well as some of this being in the third person style.

The main character here is Iris Villarca, who living with her father are the only members left alive of their family. If Iris never has children the family line will come to an end, but for Iris this doesn’t seem possible due to the dire warnings of her father. Told that she suffers with Horror Autotoxicus, is this really true, or just a lie?

Blending medical science (which does include animal vivisection) with more supernatural elements this story draws you in as you read pieces from different periods and people, adding superstition and secrets to the whole tale. At the centre of this is always the house on Dartmoor, Rawblood, where family members are always drawn.

In some ways this does have relevance to our lives, as we see the effects of madness here and can place these within the histories of Royal and aristocratic families, where due to the belief of keeping blood lines pure this leads to inbreeding, and the more modern concerns of some people coming together who unknowingly have genetic make ups that when combined can have in some cases severe effects on their children.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rawblood is a gothic horror love story that falls into the annals of literary classics. Indeed, the undercurrents of the novel whisper of Wuthering Heights, The Turn of the Screw, Rebecca, the Woman in White and others.

At the beginning, we are introduced to the family trees of the Villarca family and that of the Gilmores and the Coulsons. Time unravels in a non linear orientation and we encounter the people (major and minor) in the family tree in what appears to be a random fashion, and their lives and events are related in the same way, lending them an episodic, dream like, impressionistic quality. The opening line by Iris “This is how I come to kill my father” sets the ominous portentous tone which leads to the spine chilling ending that speaks of such intense suffering, love and trauma.

Located on the Devon moors with its mists, downpours and bogs, Rawblood is a house steeped in blood, haunted by a malevolent spirit which seeks the death of all its inhabitants and the Villarcas in particular. Iris lives there with her father as the last remaining Villarcas. Shunned by the locals, Iris is further isolated by her father’s desire to protect her by banning her from leaving the house and in mixing with the locals. His attempts are doomed to failure as Iris develops deep emotional ties with local boy, Tom.

Suspense is built up as we slowly start to understand the nature of the ghost/spirit and why it inhabits Rawblood and seeks the demise of the Villarcas. There is much blurring of boundaries epitomised by the living and the dead, and the supernatural and science (experimental medical research such as vivisection). The most malignant aspect of the novel is the depiction of the asylum and the practices that flourished in such institutions at that time.
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