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by Alison Littlewood
This starts out pretty depressing. Leah has bought a house her husband wanted, but the husband and children are dead. The first chapter doesn't reveal how that happened, but focuses on Leah and her internal processing of her grief.
The writing in this one is poetic, just beautiful. The early plot progression reminds me of Stephen King. Mysterious voices, snowballs thrown by invisible entities, mysterious visions, etc. A strange toy found in the barn adds a creepy factor.
Leah meets her closest neighbours, a divorced woman and her son, as well as a brother, and starts to feel like she can make new friends now who don't remind her of her previous life. Only other things do keep reminding her. A child's shape on the wall, the sound of a boy's laughter. Is it the ghost of her lost son or the spirit of a child who was killed on the property generations ago?
To make things more disturbing, Leah starts having visions when she touches objects that have some connection to the past. Not her past, but that of the house itself. About halfway through we learn what happened to her family and the mistletoe begins to feature strongly. The orchard is dying, but the mistletoe somehow keeps creeping into the house.
Lots of ghostly happenings in this one. The time slips are well done and there's an unexpected twist near the end.