For fans of Alice Hoffman and Kate Morton, The White Hare is a spellbinding novel about mothers and daughters finding a new home for themselves, the secrets they try to bury, and the local legends that may change their lives.
In the far west of Cornwall lies the White Valley, which cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea at White Cove. The valley has a long and bloody history, laced with folklore, and in it sits a house above the beach that has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation and a strange atmosphere, which is why mother and daughter Magdalena and Mila manage to acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.
Magda has grand plans to restore the house to its former glory as a venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for cocktails and for bracing walks along the coast. Her grown daughter, Mila, just wants to escape the scandal in her past and make a safe and happy home for her little girl, Janey, a solitary, precocious child blessed with a vivid imagination, much of which she pours into stories about her magical plush toy, Rabbit.
But Janey’s rabbit isn’t the only magical being around. Legend has it that an enchanted white hare may be seen running through the woods. Is it an ill omen or a blessing? As Mila, her mother, and her young daughter adjust to life in this mysterious place, they will have to reckon with their own pasts and with the secrets that have been haunting the White Valley for decades.
Jane Johnson is a novelist, historian, and publisher. She is the UK editor for many bestselling authors, including George R.R. Martin. She has written for both adults and children, including the bestselling novel The Tenth Gift. Writing under the pen name Jude Fisher, she wrote the companion books to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. Jane is married to a Berber chef she met while climbing in Morocco. She divides her time between London, Cornwall, and the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Connect with her on Twitter @JaneJohnsonBakr, on Instagram @JaneJohnsonBakrim, or visit her website at JaneJohnsonBooks.com.
“This book does not hesitate to evoke a sense of wonder, and it does that better than I've seen it done in quite a while.”
— ROBIN HOBB, New York Times bestselling author of The Farseer Trilogy
“Johnson’s writing is deliberate and lyrical . . . A refreshing and comforting read for fans of Alice Hoffman and V.E. Schwab. Gorgeous eco-supernatural elements make hauntings attractive.”
— Library Journal (Starred Review)
“An engrossing gothic tale of family secrets, scandals, and ancient mysteries in a small Cornish village in 1954. . . . There are plenty of savory atmospheric details.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A home renovation story with a Gothic flair, Johnson’s latest offers suspense, historical drama, and a hint of romance. Fans of Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden will be drawn in here.”
“In my mythical bookshop this would be in the ‘books that remind you of the true meaning of reading for pleasure’ section. It’s mythic, witchy, [and full of] mystery and romance. It sings of an earth alive with power.”
— JACKIE MORRIS, co-author and illustrator of The Lost Spells
“I loved every page, every detail, and am at a loss now that I’ve finished it.”
— LIZ FENWICK, award-winning author of The River Between Us
“The White Hare is an exceptionally atmospheric read as Cornish folklore is mixed with the supernatural and readers who enjoy Kate Morton and Alice Hoffman, or those looking for a mysterious read, will want to pick this one up.”
— Cloud Lake Literary
“It’s so life-enriching to be able to disappear into a good book for several hours and I’ve really enjoyed my stay in 1950s (and eternal) Cornwall. Good books are tickets from home to wherever you want to go and this one was very worth the ticket.”
— ELIZABETH CHADWICK, author of A Marriage of Lions
“A gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous book. Mythic, emotionally rich, and deeply rooted in place.”
— TERRI WINDLING, award-winning author of The Wood Wife
“Jam-packed with slowly released secrets: those between mothers and daughters, those kept by the villagers, and those locked away within traumatized minds. With lush descriptions of fashion, food, and especially nature, Johnson's prose appeals to sentiment and expertly evokes an often-menacing mood.”
— Shelf Awareness for Readers