The Animals at Lockwood Manner

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About the book

Some secrets are unspoken. Others are unspeakable . . .

August 1939.

Thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright is tasked with the evacuation and safekeeping of the natural history museum’s collection of mammals. Once she and her exhibits arrive at Lockwood Manor, however, where they are to stay for the duration of the war, Hetty soon realizes that she’s taken on more than she’d bargained for.

Protecting her charges from the irascible Lord Lockwood and resentful servants is work enough, but when some of the animals go missing, and worse, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the house.

As the disasters mount, Hetty finds herself falling under the spell of Lucy, Lord Lockwood’s beautiful but clearly haunted daughter. But why is Lucy so traumatized? Does she know something she’s not telling? And is there any truth to local rumours of ghosts and curses?

Part love story, part mystery, The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey is a gripping and atmospheric tale of family madness, long-buried secrets and hidden desires.


If you imagine Night at the Museum meets a ghost story meets a WWII meets passion. Now, this seems like an odd combination but it really works! This story is a slow burn, so take the time to give it a chance. If you love atmospheric and spooky reads, then you’ll love this story!

So, if you find the idea of taxidermy animals vanishing in the night then you might be terrified of this story. But it is seriously so interesting in its creeptastic way. This story is intense and complicated. The people in the story are intense and complicated. The time period is intense and complicated. I think you understand my point.

Now, let me discuss the writing in this book. It’s gorgeous. The simplicity yet complexity just makes it a mesmerizing read. It sucked me in right away, but I love atmospheric reads. For those of you who enjoy quick and easy reads, this story may take some time for you to get into. But I promise, you should give it the chance it deserves because I think you will enjoy it!

About the Author

Jane Healey was named after Jane Eyre but, growing up in a Victorian farmhouse that was rumoured to be haunted, was initially too frightened of the ghost in the red-room to read past the second chapter. She returned to it – successfully – during her English Literature degree at Warwick University and later wrote her MSc dissertation at Edinburgh University on ghosts, mothers, and libraries as Bluebeard’s chambers in Jane Eyre and its literary descendants.

She subsequently studied on the MFA Fiction programme at CUNY Brooklyn College and has been shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize 2013, the Costa Short Story Award 2014, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 and the Penguin Random House WriteNow mentoring programme 2017.

*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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