I love all things spooky, yet this is the first ghost book I’ve read and I must say I enjoyed it. Based around the true events surrounding the strange death of Devon ‘witch’ Hannah Beamish, the story follows Kitty and Gordon who move into a new house they’ve just had built and begin to experience some unusual occurrences. It turns out they’ve moved onto land belonging to the malevolent spirit of Robert Beamish, who just happens to have a vendetta against Kitty’s great granny and, consequently, Kitty herself. After a few visits from the spirits of Robert (trying to hurt them) and Hannah (trying to help them), Gordon and Kitty seek help from a pair of elderly sisters from the village in order to battle and banish the ghost and reclaim their house.
To begin with I didn’t think The Lavender Witch was going to impress – it had a very slow start. Gordon and Kitty’s relationship is confusing because they’ve clearly been married for a long time, but they seem to hate each other (I still don’t know if that was intentional or just poor writing). The flow is very stilted for the first couple of chapters, with little atmosphere. However, with the development of the storyline, Andrews’ writing seemed to improve rapidly (along with Gordon and Kitty’s feelings toward each other) and she managed to pull off a very engaging ghost story.
I wouldn’t recommend reading this at night if you have a good imagination. I did on a few occasions become convinced that the ghost of Robert Beamish was in my room, and I cope very well with horror so that should be considered quite high praise.