The Drowned Village by Kathleen McGurl

Published May 4, 2022

The Drowned Village by Kathleen McGurl

Book info

  • Title The Drowned Village
  • Author Kathleen McGurl
  • Year 2018
  • Genre Mystery

A village destroyed. It’s the summer of 1935 and eleven-year-old Stella Walker is preparing to leave her home forever. Forced to evacuate to make way for a new reservoir, the village of Brackendale Green will soon be lost. But before the water has even reached them, a dreadful event threatens to tear Stella’s family apart. An uncovered secret. Present day, and a fierce summer has dried up the lake and revealed the remnants of the deserted village. Now an old woman, Stella begs her granddaughter Laura to make the journey she can’t. She’s sure the village still holds answers for her but, with only days until the floodwaters start to rise again, Laura is in a race against time to solve the mysteries of Stella’s almost forgotten past. Haunting and evocative, The Drowned Village reaches across the decades in an unforgettable tale of love, loss and family.


This is such an intriguing idea, I couldn’t help but get completely invested right from the very start a village in the Lake District is given over to become a reservoir, so the inhabitants have to leave home and start anew…. and some secrets are left to drown under the water. Until in the present, a drought has meant the village is accessible again, and we get to find out what happened. The story is told from the point of view of characters in the village pre-flooding, and then a granddaughter in the modern age. If I’m honest, I read through the modern moments as quickly as possible to just keep dipping back into the past and find out what happened, but as the book went on, the two sides seemed to come together nicely, to secure a happy ending. Hooray!

Rating: 4 / 5

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