I loved the first half of this book – the writing is really moody and atmospheric and I loved the mystery and the magical realism of the setting.
A boy with chronic pain is taken from hospital and left at the gates to an old house that seems to be ‘made of ash’. He is met by a child who welcomes him in. It seems that the only inhabitants of the house are all children who don’t actually live in the house but in greenhouses in the grounds.
The boy is given a new name and struggles to remember much of his life before arriving at the Ash House.
The children are secretive about some things, but tell of a benevolent headmaster who used to look after them but hasn’t been seen for three years, and a ‘doctor’ who visits but they are all afraid of.
I was disappointed by the ending of the book. The second half doesn’t really go anywhere and the denouement is very inconclusive. Hmmm.