When Rowen Coleman visited Ponden Hall for a photography course some years ago she was completely seduced by the wonderfully atmospheric house with its undoubted Bronte connections.
The result of the seduction became The Girl at the Window, a beautiful tale of love and loss throughout the ages.
Ponden Hall is situated just outside Haworth in West Yorkshire where the Bronte sisters penned their famous novels.
The Girl at the Window follows Trudy Heaton who returns to the Hall with her young son following the devastating news her husband has disappeared.
She comes from a long-line of Heatons who, in real life, had occupied Hall since 1634. On her return she attempts to make peace with her estranged mother, care for her son and re-build her life.
The reader is taken on a journey of discovery through three different centuries where you meet the people who lived and went to Ponden, including the Brontes.
The novel blurs the line between fact and fiction highlighting significant historical events from the time and includes more than one appearance of the Brontes. The reader is also asked on occasion to suspend their disbelief, which, safe in Coleman’s hand you are only too happy to do.
For me, there was something incredibly special about reading a book set in my own village. To look across to Haworth from my lounge as I read was the most unique and wonderful treat.
I was also thrilled Coleman clearly has such a love and passion for Haworth which shines through every page in the book.
Her intricate description of the village moved me to tears at times and gave the book a genuine sense of authenticity.
However, you certainly don’t need to live in Haworth, or even be familiar with it to enjoy this book, it is utterly charming, deeply emotional as it twists and turns its way through human emotion and history.
Having been to Ponden Hall myself I can understand why Coleman fell so quickly and deeply for the place and the landscape.
I loved this book, the story and the setting are sure to captivate you and probably make you as much in love with Ponden Hall as Coleman was when she first walked through the doors.