Wednesday 28 May 2014

Review ~ The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull.

Title: The Visitors.
Author: Rebecca Mascull.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Release Date: January 2, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Imagine if you couldn't see
couldn't hear
couldn't speak...
Then one day somebody took your hand and opened up the world to you.

Adeliza Golding is a deafblind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened the Visitors. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate.

Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie's beloved brother Caleb leads her from the hop gardens and oyster beds of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.

Rebecca Mascull's first novel is the tale of a wonderful friendship, but it is also a thrilling adventure, a heartbreaking love story and a compelling ghost story.

I don’t know if it’s possible to look at the cover and the synopsis for The Visitors and not think this book is going to be something special. Actually, Rebecca Mascull made her debut novel so much more than that. With stunning prose, The Visitors is a beautiful, moving story which I absolutely loved.

Set in Victorian times, we have the wonderful protagonist of Adeliza, who blind and deaf from a young age, wants nothing more than to be allowed to experience the world she lives in and not let anything hold her back. Liza is a brave character to write but we’re brought her story in such a touching, magnificent way. I never once felt like I was being told everything that was happening or told how I should feel about Liza’s story – instead, I was transported on this journey with Liza and I grew to love her character like I would someone I knew in real life.

There were a lot of themes in this book other than the obvious – from friendship to romance and the supernatural involvement of the Visitors. There’s always the chance in packed books that the overall story will be overpowered but that wasn’t the case here. Rebecca combined everything together perfectly and each added to the story rather than distracted from it.

As this book spans over twenty years, I liked how the format of the book switched a little – from the poignant tale of Liza’s youth to the letters from Caleb. Whilst Liza is a lovely character, easy to support and root for, I equally loved her friend Lottie. Seeing their bond and relationship develop was easily my favourite part of this book. The author wrote their friendship so eloquently.

I can’t claim to be a massive lover of historical fiction because it’s not a genre I’ve read too often before The Visitors. I have since reading this book bought a selection of historical novels although I’m not so sure any will live up to this fantastic book. If you can find a new favourite author from just one book, I’m pretty sure Rebecca Mascull is there with this beautiful novel.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. This book has been on my wish list ever since I first read about it, I can't wait to read it. Great review!

    1. Oh I can't wait to hear what you think! It's so good!


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