Albie Mirrals met his cousin only once, ten years prior to her death at the hands of her husband. When the news that she has been burned to death reaches him, he is compelled to abandon his wife to travel to the village of Halfoak and discover the truth. As the villagers whisper about pretty Lizzie Higgs, who they believe to be a faerie changeling – Albie begins to question the reality of his own ordered world.
Set shortly after Wuthering Heights was released, The Hidden People attempts to echo the same chilling, wild atmosphere of the Yorkshire countryside and mostly succeeds. The rural community is so saturated in the supernatural that we begin to understand how Albie’s grip on the rational could slip, as do we let our own, expecting the faeries to release Lizzie’s true form at any moment.
However, Littlewood has missed the mark when attempting to recreate the voice of the era. Unneeded words creep into sentences making, them lengthy and difficult to digest, and adversely affecting the pace of the story.
Just as an interesting event takes place and the book promises to speed up, you’re brought back to a halt by clogged-up paragraphs, further losing momentum. Even when we begin to hear Lizzie’s voice from beyond the grave in the form of her diary, this device is not utilised enough to make you feel like you’re getting anywhere.
If this book didn’t stop and start so frequently it would be a great read. As it is, it’s simply okay.