1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.
Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
What did I think?
I felt so very sad when I was reading this book, as Peggy's father takes her away to a remote cabin and tells her that everyone else in the world is dead. They are the only survivors after the hilariously named 'Ruskies' obliterated the world. The desolation of the cabin is described meticulously as Peggy and her father forage for food in their quest for survival.
Peggy's mother is a famous pianist, although Peggy has never been taught the piano. Her father crafts a make-shift piano out of bits of wood that Peggy plays every day, hearing the music in her head. I loved the piano being a constant reminder of her mother, leading us nicely on to interspersed chapters when Peggy is reunited with her mother years later.
There are some things left up to the reader's imagination with Claire Fuller dropping hints along the way about the strangely evolving relationship between Peggy and her father. The sanity of both Peggy and her father is called in to question on numerous occasions and it's hardly any wonder, being so isolated with only each other for company.
I really enjoyed this book. I think it was such an unusual subject to write about and with so few characters involved, it effortlessly drew the reader into the snow covered cabin, so much so that I felt I was almost watching it on a screen inside my head.
Brilliantly descriptive, it messed with my head equally as much as Peggy's father messed with her head. I wasn't sure who was real and who was imagined in the solitary world of Die Hütte.
I received this e-book from the publisher, Penguin, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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