The White Hare

Blackstone Audio. Oct. 2022. 12:32 hrs. ISBN 9798212221429. $59.95. F
Summer 1954. Three generations—mother Magda, daughter Mila, and granddaughter Janey—retreat from London after a disastrous affair nearly ruined Mila and even little Janey. Magda purchased a once-splendid old guesthouse in rural Cornwall, but Mila remains skeptical of her pretentious, domineering mother’s plans to restore their new home to its former glory. In addition to her relationship with Magda, Mila must contend with the locals’ hostility, an enigmatic yet handsome handyman, and Janey’s strange connection to the house and her uncanny stuffed animal, Rabbit. Prewar refugees from Poland with very different views of its culture, Magda and Mila wrestle for control of Janey’s upbringing and the shape of their family’s fresh start in an ancient landscape. Danielle Cohen’s narration manifests the distinct characters of these women, contrasting Magda’s sharp, derisive tones (and the accent she can’t quite lose) with Mila’s trained and proper British diction and soulful admiration of Polish tradition. With distinct voices for Janey, Jack, and a cast of Cornish folk suspicious of outsiders, Johnson’s (The Sea Gate; Court of Lions) latest is an immersive audio experience.
VERDICT With its gothic atmosphere, genuine history, and fraught maternal relationships, this is perfect for fans of Susanna Kearsley or Sarah Blake.
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