Frost Hollow Hall is a delightful debut novel from a talented new voice in historical fiction for children.
Despite the spooky nature of the tale – including the icy lake, the haunted halls and the crockery which moves across the room by itself – Frost Hollow Hall is a cosy and satisfying read. Emma Carroll has created a down-to-earth and assured narrator in Tilly, who is rescued from the lake after a skating accident by Kit Barrington – even though he’s been dead for ten years.
Tilly is sure there is a reason his spirit is not at rest, and she is determined to find out what. Betrayed by her own family's disbelief, when Tilly's friend Will Potter refuses to believe her, Tilly takes a job as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall and finds a house still in mourning after a decade of loss – as well as a vengeful spirit who frightens the staff. Tilly has a mystery to unravel and she’ll do it with or without Will Potter.
This is a charming story which, despite dealing with dark themes of grief, poverty and death, remains light-hearted and hopeful. With wonderful description and great characterisation, Emma Carroll is a real find and Frost Hollow Hall is a perfect ghostly mystery for fans of Eva Ibbotson, Ellen Renner and Marie-Louise Jensen.
This review originally featured on welovethisbook.com