Monday, November 7, 2016

Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand

Open Road Integrated Media, ISBN 9781504007184, February 2015

Windhollow Faire is a trad folk group in Britain in the early 1970s. They've put out one album which was a modest success. Arianna, their female singer, wasn't quite what they needed, and they got a new one, Lesley, an America.

And Arianna kiled herself, jumping out the window of Julian, the male lead singer and the band's primary songwriter.

So things are a little stressed and strained, not to mention the scandal, and their manager, Tom Haring. rents a decaying manor in Hampshire, Wylding Hall, to get them out of London for the summer and let them concentrate on creating the music for their next album.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Years later, in a series of interviews, the five band members, Tom Haring, and friends and acquaintances each in turn tell parts of the story. As it unfolds. we gradually come to understand that something went terribly wrong, in ways no one really understood.

I loved the language and the imagery, and found myself completely drawn in. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I may have bought this one. Or I may have received it for free and now don't recall. Apologies for the vagueness; I do try to keep track of these things, but sometimes fail.