1092 in stock
A dark novel filled with obsession and intrigue'
A ghostly, shape-shifting novel from a rising Scottish writer… playfully alert to ideas of authenticity, possession and the malleable nature of narrative'
snatched, impressionistic chapters [which] can switch between personal reflection and prose poetry – an elegant style which only gains in effectiveness as the haunted, gothic undercurrent of the novel becomes more apparent'
a true wordsmith and sorcerer who can bend words around her fingers into poetic and fantastic sentences'
Told in McClory’s rangy, poetic prose, Bitterhall just works. Beautifully'
Helen McClory is an extremely accomplished and intelligent novelist, which is what makes Bitterhall such a delight …[It] quickly establishes itself in the great Scottish tradition of Hogg's Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Stevenson's Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde. It is a novel of splits, doubles ghosts, the cleaving and the cloven. In some ways, it reminded me of the late Iain Banks. I ended it wondering what would happen to the characters next – a testament to its power'
Scotland on Sunday
[Bitterhall has] the enjoyment factor – I liked spending time with these characters. [McClory's] writing is immersive, [she] creates a very particular world. I really recommend it'
BBC Radio Scotland
Reeling with edge of your seat atmosphere Bitterhall is brilliantly unnerving novel that explores the liminal blurring of inner life with outward reality. Laced with dry wit, this shrewdly-written read rises to a gripping, question-raising climax'
A ... substantial meal, rich and gamey if one was to take Atwood's metaphor before she could snatch it back and drive a dining fork through its now blackened heart. ... intriguing revelations ... What is fascinating about the book is the role of the diary and how James Lennoxlove appears to be pushing from the past into the present'
A dark, intricate tale of a haunting…the plot, intriguing in itself, works as a vessel through which objective reality can be explored and questioned [but] McClory always draws us back in with her solid grasp on the physical world and the people who inhabit it'
Press & Journal
McClory's poetic prose is punctuated by haunting images and stark observations, deftly moving from the internal to the external [with] a witty sense of humour. A novel of pieces, short snappy chapters, multiple narrators and myriad themes…expertly drawn'
Moving, ambitious and strange in the best way ... a story about what it is to be haunted, which haunts you in turn'
Bitterhall, McClory's finest achievement to date, is many things: a mesmerising neo-gothic yarn; a technically adroit act of storytelling; a showcase for McClory's poetically rich prose; and a deeply moving story of three broken young lives'
A tantalising deep dive into characters' lives. This haunting story of love and friendship will have you hooked from the get-go. If you like a novel that leaves you questioning everything, this one is for you'
brings together the literary and the metaphysical ... You might be drawn in by the writing, but you’ll stay for the stories. And what more can you ask of a novel?'
About the Book
'Hauntingly delicious' - Sunday Post
Bitterhall is a story of obsession told between three unreliable narrators. Daniel, Órla and Tom share a flat and narrate the intersections of their lives, from future-world 3D printing technology to the history of the book, to a stolen nineteenth-century diary written by a dashing gentleman who may not be entirely dead. A Hallowe’en party leads to a series of entanglements, variously a longed-for sexual encounter clouded by madness, a betrayal, and a reality-destroying moment of possession.
You may also like…
Paperback | Pub: 10 Mar 2016£9.99
On an island like no other, populated by writers, the annual Brilliant & Forever Festival is a much anticipated event; its participants a story away from either glory or infamy. This year, three best friends – two human, one alpaca –...
Paperback | Pub: 07 Jun 2018£8.99
Ben Martin is charming and successful: an academic who has raised money for children’s charities and worked with women’s agencies in sub-Saharan Africa, a devoted husband. But when his brother Francois, an artist based in Lisbon, finds out about...
Hardback | Pub: 06 May 2021£16.99
After Highland shepherd Colvin Munro disappears, a mysterious trail of his possessions is found in the Cairngorm mountains. Writing the eulogy for his memorial years later, his foundling-sister Mo seeks to discover why he vanished. Younger brother...
Paperback | Pub: 13 Aug 2020
Sarah Sutherland wanted to be an archaeologist but now she is struggling to cope with the demands of work and caring for her elderly father, who has his own secret troubles. Her fascination with the past still remains, and she feels a special...