The High House

The High House


Crisis slid from distant threat to imminent probability and we tuned it out like static

Francesca is Caro’s stepmother, and Pauly’s mother. A scientist, she can see what is going to happen.

The high house was once her holiday home; now looked after by locals Grandy and Sally, she has turned it into an ark, for when the time comes. The mill powers the generator; the orchard is carefully pruned; the greenhouse has all its glass intact. Almost a family, but not quite, they plant, store seed, and watch the weather carefully.

A stunning novel of the extraordinary and the everyday, The High House explores how we get used to change that once seemed unthinkable, how we place the needs of our families against the needs of others – and it asks us who, if we had to, we would save.

Our Review

The High House is a piece of literary fiction but it is also a stark warning designed to shake us all out of our complacency when it comes to climate changes. 

Caro's stepmother is a scientist. She can see the way climate change is changing the landscape of the world and she wants to keep her family safe from harm. The High House is a place of refuge but also a place for them to dwell on the past whilst trying to survive in this new landscape. 

"I pour the last of yesterday's well water into the kettle and set it to boil, put dried mint leaves in a mug, makes tea. I would have had coffee, once. I think this every morning. I think this and then I think I can still catch the taste of it, but it's been so long that it could be the taste of anything I am remembering. Milk. Mustard. Ham. They all bring the same flood of saliva into my mouth and the same sad twist into  my chest." 

The High House was startling, heart-stopping and I certainly won't be forgetting it in a hurry. Every single character helps to hammer home the message and stop us from tuning out the threats of of our own creation. 

"She didn't have the habit that the rest of us were learning of having our minds in two places at once, of seeing two futures - that ordinary one of summer holidays and new school terms, of Christmases and birhtdays, and bank accounts in an endless uneventful round, and the other one, the long and empty one we spoke about in hypotheticals, or didn't speak about at all.

- They act as though it's a myth to frighten them, Francesca said.

Instead of the imminently coming end of or fucking planet."

The High House was an excellent read and one I certainly won't forget in a hurry.


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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