The atmospheric The Creature Keeper has to be one of my favourite novels from 2020. Just the right blend of spookiness, mystery and adventure beautifully told by Damaris Young.
Cora lives with her Ma and Pa on a farm at the edge of Hazelglen Town. Cora is treated as an outsider by the other children in the town, but the farm really is her happy place – she adores the animals they have. Talking to people is something she finds very tricky, but taking care of animals? That’s her passion. Her strength.
So when a letter arrives from the strange Direspire Hall, a place awash with rumour and mystery, for someone to become an apprentice to the Hall’s much talked about mysterious, magical menagerie – Cora is tempted. Very tempted. Money is tight, it’s always been that way, and she knows that her parents could really do with the extra cash right now… but is it worth the risk?
Cora finds herself flung into the world at Direspire Hall, cut off from her parents, but with a job to do that she feels passionately about.
But something’s not right at the Hall.
She’s not sure who she can trust.
And the precious, magical animals she’s caring for? Their future is at stake.