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Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg


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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Green, her little sister Blue and October - known as Toby - are children growing up in Foxlowe, a huge old home on the moors. They run free, and play endlessly, and don't go to school, but they are also part of a cult, "the Family", obsessed with keeping out "the Bad". They're forced to endure the pain of "Spike Walks" if they don't behave in the way in which they are supposed to, and they grasp, dangerously in the end, for any scrap of affection thrown their way. Eleanor Wasserberg tells her story from the perspective of Green, from her outrage at the arrival of her new sister Blue, to their bonding, and then Green's eventual betrayal. It's unsettling and persuasive, impressively well-executed and, at the last, utterly disturbing. I'm still flinching away from thinking about the final scene. ~ Alison Flood

If you liked Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg try The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides or We Were Liars by E Lockhart.

June 2016 Debut of the Month.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Hannah Smith - 'Once I was fully immersed in the world of Foxlowe I found that I never wanted to leave. A thought-provoking read with beautifully descriptive writing throughout, it really was quite extraordinary!'
  • Sarah Harper - 'I cannot get this book out of my head. Disturbing and yet compelling at the same time, Foxlowe is completely and utterly compulsive.'
  • Catherine Hogwood - 'A unique story of family, commitments and elements of control which will question how far people will go and why.'
  • Vikki Patis - 'Wasserberg writes such horrors with a steady hand and beautiful prose.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'This is a wonderful, dark, unnerving story.'
  • Glynis Elliott - 'Very atmospheric and descriptive. However, I wouldn't say it was enjoyable due to the subject matter, but very readable.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'An unusual tale of an alternative way of living based at a house called ‘Foxlowe’. The main character 'Green' tells the story of the commune and how it evolves.'
  • Catherine Bryce - 'A brilliant, eerily, keep turning the pages story.'
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'This is a strange story which took me quite a while to get into.'
  • Carolyn Huckfield - 'A tragic and disturbing story with violence as well as joy in the Foxlowe commune. And what this life does to the children is the real tragedy of Foxlowe.'
  • Vicky-Leigh Sayer - 'Foxlowe is an atmospheric novel. Creepy and claustrophobic with some deeply flawed characters. It will have you turning its pages frantically wanting to discover its ending which doesn't disappoint.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'An extraordinary read and impossible to put down.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'The ending is quite reflective told by Green as an adult and how she sees the house as the grown up and how others may perceive it.'
  • Julie Bertschin  - 'A strange and unsettling story...An intoxicating and disturbing read!'
  • Laura Delve - 'I am not denying that this book was clever and well written, I just felt completely detached from this whole story.'


Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

A chilling, compulsive debut about group mentality, superstition and betrayal - and a utopian commune gone badly wrong We were the Family, and Foxlowe was our home. There was me - my name is Green - and my little sister, Blue. There was October, who we called Toby, and Ellensia, Dylan, Liberty, Pet and Egg. There was Richard, of course, who was one of the Founders. And there was Freya. We were the Family, but we weren't just an ordinary family. We were a new, better kind of family. We didn't need to go to school, because we had a new, better kind of education. We shared everything. We were close to the ancient way of living and the ancient landscape. We knew the moors, and the standing stones. We celebrated the solstice in the correct way, with honey and fruit and garlands of fresh flowers. We knew the Bad and we knew how to keep it away. And we had Foxlowe, our home. Where we were free. There really was no reason for anyone to want to leave.


'Mesmerising, gripping and beautifully written. It completely sweeps you up from beginning to end. I loved it'
Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

'Wasserberg has a strong and distinctive voice and this is an excellent debut'
Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go

'An extraordinary, astonishing story of a girl's longing for motherly love. Beautifully harrowing, and powerfully haunting, it is the most heartbreaking tale I have read this year'
Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver

About the Author

Eleanor Wasserberg

Eleanor Wasserberg is a graduate of the Creative Writing Programme at the University of East Anglia. Originally from Staffordshire, she now lives in Norwich.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd June 2016


Eleanor Wasserberg

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Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers




Family Drama
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