The Woman in the Attic
On the coast of rural Newfoundland, Hannah Fitzgerald's mother has lived her life in near total isolation. When Hannah returns to the lonely saltbox house to prepare her mother for the transition into assisted living, her childhood home is anything but welcoming. Dilapidated from years of hoarding and neglect, the walls are crumbling, leaving Hannah’s wellness crumbling along with them.
While packing her mother's things, Hannah discovers a trap door to the house’s attic, the one she believed for most of her life had been permanently sealed shut. Blinded by curiosity, Hannah enters the attic and finds a mysterious bedroom riddled with dark secrets. Desperate to know more, Hannah begins to scramble for answers, combing the house for clues that may lead her to the truth.
Hannah must navigate through the violent outbursts of her senile mother, the prying questions of a nosy hospice nurse, and the rage of the coastal wind that threatens the structure of the house. Piece by piece, she assembles a picture of her mother’s not-so-distant past—a twisted tangle of infatuation, lies, and maybe even murder.
The Woman in the Attic is a claustrophobic psychological thriller wrought with suspense. This novel will put you on the edge of your seat . . . and make you wary of the unused spaces collecting dust in your home.
Winner - 2021 #NL Reads - Love Our Local Author
Winner — Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize (Mystery)
Gold Medal Winner — Independent Publisher Awards (Canada - East - Regional Fiction)
Finalist for Best First Novel — Crime Writers of Canada Awards
Long-listed — BMO Winterset Award
Described as a "claustrophobic psychological thriller", The Woman in The Attic is a novel that I simply could not put down until I turned the final page. Emily Hepditch does a superb job at developing true to life characters through a storyline that mirrors the lives of real life people in rural Newfoundland. Readers can't help but feel compassion and empathy for Hannah as she is faced with the tragic realities that having a parent diagnosed with dementia brings but also feel the same torment, anguish and sadness that is revealed bit by bit as the plot develops. Through beautiful writing and wonderful use of figurative language, Hepditch creates vivid sensory images for readers, inviting them to become participants in the story.-- Fireside Collections --
Emily Hepditch has taken a classic haunting format and given it a fresh and youthful makeover. The brooding atmosphere in the house, the building tension in the weather outside, the erosion of land at the edge of the cliffs: all the required elements are assembled and re-animated and peppered with her own energy and wit.-- Joan Sullivan - The Telegram --
"Hepditch builds the suspense nicely to a dramatic conclusion and the setting makes the story all the more intriguing. This is a solid first effort from an author who will clearly make her mark in the mystery/suspense genre.-- Denise Flint - Downhome Magazine --
The Woman in the Attic is a psychological thriller that takes you on a ride of unexpected events that lead to an ending you would never imagine. Spine tingling! The characters are well developed with surprises popping out at you along the way. You think you have it all figured out and lo and behold, the author takes you along a narrow, twisting path that makes you hold your breath. The surprises brings the reader to tears and anger. A suspenseful read from a young author who has talent!-- Darlene Kettle - The Wreckhouse Weekly --
So, as I have mentioned many times before on my blog, Thrillers are not my favourite genre of books… But this book has made me re-think that statement! The Woman In The Attic was easily one of my favourite books – even though it is a thriller!...The unique setting of rural Newfoundland added a level of intrigue for me and will help the book always stand out in my mind. This is a must read for fans of the thriller genre! Only small issue, outside of NL it could be difficult to find a hardcopy on your typical channels (Indigo, Amazon, etc), but you can order directly from the publisher, Flanker Press. Rating: 9.5/10-- Erin Wolf - Sleep Less, Read More Book Review --
I’m chucking down my pen, so to speak, before I “slip” and reveal all. Finally, a promise — at times Woman in the Attic will give you the shivers-- Harold Walters --
The Woman in The Attic: On the coast of rural Newfoundland, the prize-winning, terrifying mystery, titled The Woman in The Attic, by Emily Hepditch, published by Flanker Press, had me nuts and turning pages for days. This is Emily’s debut novel, writing about how Hannah’s mother has lived her life in near isolation. Hannah must return to the lonely saltbox house on a cliff overlooking the water to prepare her mother for transition into assisted living. Packing her mom’s things, Hannah discovers a trap door to the house’s attic. Blinded by curiosity, she finds a mysterious bedroom riddled with dark secrets. As she scrambles for answers, a new truth emerges. I was thrilled that I couldn’t put it down. Now I’m afraid to pick up her second thriller, Alone on the Trail, also a best-seller -- Bonnie Kogos, The Sudbury Star --
“When I read The Woman in the Attic, I couldn't put it down because it was so good. Emily Hepditch is such a fine writer, crafting her story with exquisite emotion and daring.”-- Bonnie Kogos, Sudbury Star --
This book is simply fantastic. I honestly can not find a ounce of critique. Being a Newfounlander who grew up in a small rural town, I can truly say she has truly captured the aesthetic of our province. Keep it up, Emily Hepditch, I will buy whatever you put out. Ill be waiting eagerly for your next book.-- Russell Porter, Goodreads May 24, 2020 (5/5 rating) --
Wow, what a great debut novel by a new author from Newfoundland. In this book, 23 yr old Hannah travels from her university in Mount Pearl, to her childhood home which is in a remote location along the cliffs. She's going to help her mother - who is suffering from dementia - move out of the house and get settled in a rest home. She has no idea what's truly waiting for her once she starts cleaning out the house. The atmosphere is intense. The author does a lot with one small house and 2-3 main characters. This book was hard to put down. It's a great first Halloween read for me. It's so good that I just ordered the author's 2nd book today.-- Karen, Goodreads October 14, 2021 (5/5 rating) --
Love love love!!! First of all, loved that the author is from NL. Secondly, this book kept me guessing. I did not see the ending coming but thoroughly enjoyed the twists along the way.-- Amanda Barron, Goodreads September 22, 2022 (4/5 rating) --
An amazing book set in an isolated house on the coast of Newfoundland. A troubled young woman must go home to empty her mother’s house and to put her mother in a home for those with dementia. As she uncovers some of her past she finds out why her mother was so cold and controlling. A well written book full of heartbreak and mystery with a touch of suspense.-- Sarah, Goodreads June 4, 2022 (5/5 rating) --
This could be the best thing I've read so far this year. Perfectly paced, tense, emotional... I loved every minute. A one sitting book. Still have tears in my eyes.-- Melanie Oake, Goodreads April 28, 2022 (5/5 rating) --
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