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Publisher's Summary

In 1910, 11-year-old Iris Villarca lives with her father at Rawblood, a lonely house on Dartmoor. Iris and her father are the last of their name. The Villarcas always die young, bloodily. Iris knows it's because of a congenital disease that means she must be strictly isolated. Papa told her so.

Forbidden to speak to other children or the servants, denied her one friend, Iris grows up in solitude. But she reads books. And one sunlit autumn day, beside her mother's grave, she forces the truth from her father. The disease is biologically impossible. A lie to cover a darker secret. The Villarcas are haunted, through the generations, by her. She is white, skeletal, covered with scars. Her origins are a mystery, but her purpose is clear. When a Villarca marries, when they love, when they have a child - she comes, and death follows. Iris makes her father a promise: to remain alone all her life. But when she's 15, she breaks it. The consequences of her choice are immediate and horrific. Iris' story is interwoven with the past, the voices of the dead - Villarcas, taken by her.

Iris' grandmother sets sail from Dover to Italy with a hired companion, to spend her final years in the sun before consumption takes her. Instead she meets betrayal and a fate worse than death. Iris' father, his medical career in ruins, conducts unconscionable experiments to discover how she travels in the Villarca blood. Iris' mother, pregnant, walks the halls of Rawblood whispering to her, coaxing her to come. As the narratives converge, Iris seeks her out in a confrontation that shatters her past and her reality, revealing the chasm in Iris' own fractured identity. Who is she? What does she desire? The answer is more terrible and stranger than Iris could have imagined.

©2015, 2017 Catriona Ward (P)2017 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Girl from Rawblood

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I have no idea what this was about

I genuinely have no idea what happened in this story. I thought the historical context was great and very well written. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I say it kind of devolved into madness and not the interesting kind.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Bizarre, terrible, and wonderful

Iris, the central figure in this odd but utterly captivating story, is a much cherished only daughter of a sad, and seemingly broken man. These two people, are the sole remaining survivors of two rich,but cursed great lines. Just as you think you understand the plot, it throws you, again and again. More haunting of a story would be hard to find. This is not a fairy tale, nor even a happy story. But, the plot and its twists kept me from doing anything else! Completely engrossing , and yet despite the disturbing occurences, I finished the story without the "yucky" feeling that so often seems to accompany these sorts of tales.
The writing was amazing, and the performance could not have been better! Definitely worth the credit!

6 people found this helpful

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My first bad review

This is the first book I have had to force myself to listen to thinking it would surly get better. I still have over 8 hours left but I am throwing in the towel. I listen to books while doing yard or housework. A good book helps pass the time and makes chores more enjoyable. This book skipped around too much and also dragged in places. I am sorry I wasted a credit on it.

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I am in awe

This author is on fire. I started this book on a whim since I loved the last I read. The House on Needless Street.
I like the last book WILL listen to this again.
The book is poetic.
A ghostly love story about time and lack of time. How all is inevitable. It was tragic, poetic, well researched for the era and written with beautiful words that I’d me seeing the whole book in my minds eye.

I have a new favorite author!!!

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Excellent! Don't worry about the time jumps

An excellent story. One of the best modern gothic horrors I have consumed. Don't listen to those whining about the time jumps. They are very explicitly announced, the order / description of the times are well stated, and they even have different narrators when a different character is providing their perspective. Those complaining seem like they've never listened to an audiobook before. Absolutely worth a listen if you are a fan of ghosts, 19th-20th century, and psychological thrillers.

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  • kw
  • 05-11-22

Definitely a book to read rather than listen.

I think I would have liked this better if I’d read it. Timeline switches, vivid imagery; it was too much to just listen to. In order to really enjoy and appreciate it, you should read it. I didn’t like it as much as I liked The House on Needless Street. I started that one as an audible read and then returned it so that I could read it as a book. I’m glad I did. Two for two, I think her books are best appreciated when read.

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hard to follow at times but a good listen.

it was kind of all over the place, especially if you aren't able to sit and completely focus on the book. but a good listen non the less. don't know that I'd do a repeat listen though

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more of a physical read

performance was good but I found myself lost keeping up with the different perspective and what was going on when. I think I would of enjoyed it more if I had read it so I can see conversation breaks and etc. def an interesting story.

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