"An impressively hectic spin on the Gothic tradition"—Telegraph
The winner of BEST HORROR NOVEL at the British Fantasy Awards by the author of The House on Needless Street!
What if it's not your mansion that's haunted—it's you?
Young Iris Villarca is the last of her family's line. They are haunted by "her," a curse passed down through the generations that marks each Villarca for certain heartbreak and death. For generations, the Villarcas have died young, under mysterious circumstances.
But Iris dares to fall in love, and the consequences of her choice are immediate and terrifying. As the world falls apart around her, she must take a final journey back to Rawblood where it all began, and where it must all end...
Perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson, Susan Hill, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Girl from Rawblood will pull readers through time into the early 1800s and 1900s, mesmerizing them with this lyrical story of cunning folk horror right until the breathtaking finish.
Praise for The Girl from Rawblood:
"Superb debut....Ward perfectly balances sensory richness with the chills of the uncanny."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"The Girl from Rawblood makes a powerful contribution to the British literature of the fantastic...There's a touch of Ted Hughes here, Emily Bronte and M.R James in this eerie and by turns moving story that spans generations...A definite book of the year for me."
—Adam Nevill, award-winning author of The Ritual and No One Gets Out Alive
"The Girl from Rawblood weaves a spell that both terrifies and mesmerizes. As each layer of mystery is peeled away, more haunting truth is revealed. The book leaves the reader breathless in its gothic tale of fear, family, blood, and love."
—Simone St. James, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel
About the Author
Catriona Ward was born in Washington DC and grew up in the US, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen and Morocco. She studied English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford followed by the UEA Masters in Creative Writing. After living in New York for 4 years where she trained as an actor, she now works for a human rights foundation and lives in London.
"The Girl from Rawblood is a cleverly interwoven Gothic tale of love and madness. Ward's atmospheric writing and chilling story drew me in from the first page, and kept me up at night, right through to the disturbing and tragic ending." — Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
"The Girl from Rawblood makes a powerful contribution to the British literature of the fantastic. It's an epic family saga incorporating a great Gothic house, built upon a lyrically rendered regional landscape, from which the numinous rises as if it is a natural function of the setting. There's a touch of Ted Hughes here, Emily Bronte and M.R James in this eerie and by turns moving story that spans generations. It filled my head for several evenings, and will linger there too . . . A definite book of the year for me" — Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual
"Brilliant – The Girl From Rawblood is the old-school gothic novel I have been waiting for. While it delivers everything I want from a 'haunted house/family curse' story, it is still stunningly original. I have never read anything like it and that's saying something." — Mike Mignola, creator of the Hellboy comic book series
"Beautifully written, in equal parts both terrifying and heart-breaking, The Girl from Rawblood is a dazzlingly brilliant Gothic masterpiece" — Sarah Pinborough
"an extended stalk through the history of the English ghost story . . . the pleasures of the ghost story are presented in such abundance, and carried off in such fine style . . . savor the allusive gusto" — Literary Review
"genuinely frightening . . . Like the best classic Gothic novels (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Castle of Otranto), The Girl from Rawblood relies on partially informed narrators telling their own stories . . . As a meta-examination of the Gothic genre and as a straightforward tale of grisly haunting, Ward's novel is remarkably successful" — Spectator
"an impressively hectic spin on the Gothic tradition" — Telegraph
"The ghost story is back" — Guardian
"A lush, macabre, chillingly good tale. From the modern horrors of man – medical experiments, war – to the ancient power of the natural world, The Girl from Rawblood is not only a ghost story of the highest order, but a sublime meditation on the things that hold us captive: fidelity, fear, memory, love. " — Leslie Parry, author of The Church of Marvels
"From Victorian ghost story to anti-war polemic and back again: I raged, wept and hid under the bed covers. As full of science as it is the supernatural, this is a hauntingly brilliant virtuoso performance." — Emma Healey, best selling author of Elizabeth is Missing
"Gloriously dark and claustrophobic, The Girl from Rawblood is a haunting gothic novel of intelligence and complexity. It has many echoes of the classics but is entirely its own book." — Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist
"The Girl from Rawblood is a fiercely original work of horror fiction that draws from its antecedents not in the manner of a vampire sucking blood, but of a thirsty artisan raising water from a well . . . a damn fine story, well paced and genuinely disturbing and achingly sad. This is one of those novels that leaves you loath to read anything else for a while, the world it evokes is so complete and so richly imagined. The Girl from Rawblood delivers all the mystery and menace that one might hope for in a classic ghost story. Moreover, it does not shrink from the ineffable. Fans of supernatural horror need not be disappointed: in The Girl from Rawblood, the ghosts are real." — Strange Horizons
"With a ghostly face at the window, inexplicable events and a sense of menace hanging over every page, this is one chilling gothic novel." — Daily Mail
"A ghostly, achingly sad, yet excruciatingly beautiful debut . . .Catriona Ward has created a moving, original tale of love and destruction, one that is truly enthralling and memorable." — LoveReading
"If you want to read a gripping ghost story and be kept awake all night . . . you must read The Girl From Rawblood" — Bianca Jagger
"[an] atmospheric debut" — Booklist
"A gripping and gruesome story of death, war, mental health, scientific experimentation, opium addiction and ill-fated, fateful love. Chillingly good." — Express
"Beautifully written Gothic. It is rare to find such sumptuous prose." — A.K. Benedict, author of The Beauty of Murder and Jonathan Dark, or the Evidence of Ghosts
"The Girl from Rawblood is a mesmerizing debut novel. It will haunt your dreams." — Miranda Seymour, author of Thrumpton Hall
"The Girl from Rawblood is a precisely and beautifully woven tapestry through which threads of darkness wind their inevitable way. Ward has crafted a sweeping saga of madness in all its forms that will chill you to the bones and draw you into its murky depths." — Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail
"A story to satisfy the most gothic of hearts. I was hooked on the very first page and The Girl from Rawblood never let me go. Sentence by sentence, Catriona Ward made herself one of my very favorite writers." — Kelly Link, 2016 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, author of Get in Trouble
"The west-country moors have been the setting for some of the most memorable of unsettling stories in British literature; there's something about that unconquerable space that threatens us, even now. The Girl from Rawblood is a continuation of our long-standing fear of the bleak expanse of the wide-open, so far from shelter or from normality, and it's brilliant." — Den of Geek
"The Girl from Rawblood weaves a spell that both terrifies and mesmerizes. As each layer of mystery is peeled away, more haunting truth is revealed. The book leaves the reader breathless in its gothic tale of fear, family, blood, and love." — Simone St. James, award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare
"With a nod to the Gothic novels of old, the narrative travels back in time and from England to Italy, in order to bring to life this haunting, mysterious tale." — Bookish
"...superb debut....Wade perfectly balances sensory richness with the chills of the uncanny." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED review