Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air, Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair, Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot, And murmur soft "She will, or she will not." Go burn these pois'nous weeds in yon blue fire, These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar, This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave, That all my fears and cares an end may have. Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round; Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound. In vain are all the charms I can devise: She hath an art to break them with her eyes. -Thomas Campion
The setting of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand is its own character. Wylding Hall is a remote manor in the county of Hampsire in England. It is more than likely haunted. So it is the perfect place for a folk-rock band in the 70s to write and record an album.
The manager of Windhollow Faire has sent the band to Wylding Hall for the summer. Weird things happen. Everyone sees the bird-like girl who is very possibly a ghost. She even appears in photos although no one sees her during the photo shoot. The band believes that Julian, the lead singer, has run off with the girl. No one is sure if they are still alive since no one has seen Julian since their last performance at a pub.
After all of these years, a filmmaker is making a documentary about the album and the summer at Wylding Hall. Everyone has an opinion about the girl and Julian. Some think that Julian summoned the girl with an old poem by Thomas Campion. There are many bird references in the poem and the book.
After Julian’s disappearance, the band splits up. No one really knows what happened to Julian. The mystery is never solved. It is up to the reader’s imagination. In my opinion, Julian went off the girl and joined her in whatever ghost world she was haunting.
Up until the end, I enjoyed Wylding Hall. I love stories about hauntings and also stories about rock bands. So it seemed like a combination of my favorite types of stories.The book is sort of like a British Eddie and the Cruisers plus a ghost story.
If you like Celebrity Ghost Stories, rock and roll stories or ghost stories, then you might enjoy Wylding Hall. I would visit Wylding Hall if it was a real place. You might even wish that the band was real.
If you absolutely must have a definite conclusion to the mystery, then I cannot say that you will definitely like this book.
I read this book for part of the Spooktober Readathon. The prompt was a book with multiple point of views.