5 Feb 2018

, ,

Book Review / The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore

A terrifyingly atmospheric ghost story by the Orange-prize-winning Helen Dunmore.
In the summer of 1954, newly wed Isabel Carey arrives in a Yorkshire town with her husband Philip. As a GP he spends much of his time working, while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life. Life is not easy: she feels out-of-place and constantly judged by the people around her, so she spends much of her time alone.

One cold winter night, Isabel finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard that she uses to help keep warm. Once wrapped in the coat she is beset by dreams. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled to hear a knock at her window, and to meet for the first time the intense gaze of a young Air Force pilot, handsome, blond and blue-eyed, staring in at her from outside.

His name is Alec, and his powerfully haunting presence both disturbs and excites Isabel. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin a delicious affair. But nothing could have prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on her own marriage.

Published:     2nd February 2012
Publisher:  Hammer
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


This book has been on my want to read list ever since it came out in 2012.  I saw that our local library had a copy so knew it was about time I picked this up.  I can't believe that it has taken me so long to pick this up. 

I went into this book not really knowing too much about it and only briefly looking at the description.  I didn't even know that it was classed as a horror and I am glad that I didn't know.  This book has an abundance of suspense and a very eerie atmosphere right from the moment that the RAF greatcoat appear in the story. 

There's two stories running through this book, sometimes running side by side and sometimes mixing in together.  You have Isabel who is recently married to the new local doctor, moved into their new marital apartment and learning to settle into married life.  It is when she discovers the greatcoat that the real story begins.  The other story is the story of Alec.  I won't tell you more about his story because it is far better to find out about him by reading the story.

I picked this up on a rainy Sunday morning and could not put it down until I had finished the very last page.