Jan Hamlin has had a bad week. She has lost her job and subsequently her long term partner. She feels afloat and when she sees an ad for a dog sitter/house sitter for a remote cottage, backing up to Coleshaw woods, she sees an opportunity to both heal and write the book she has always wanted to write. But as early as the first night she stays there, strange things start happening. There are noises outside and black figures she has glimpses of. What she initially thinks are animals, actually appear to look like small adults or even children. She becomes even more frightened when she sees a pair of eyes looking through the window at her. While she is second guessing her decision to stay in the isolated cottage, she is also intrigued as to what it can be.
Ian and Emma Jennings have just lost their second child to late miscarriage. Anne Long, their midwife, has taken the baby away without it being seen by them. The reader is unclear when Ian and Emma are introduced, what connection it could possibly have with the isolated cottage, but it all becomes clear. Once Ian decides to research their DNA and find out why Emma keeps miscarrying, the truth begins to make itself clear. At the crux of the story is The Moller clinic, which is a small donor clinic on the outskirts of Merryless. When Ian investigates, he finds out that not only do Emma and Ian have the same donor, everyone else does too. Carston Moller has used his sperm and fathered over 1000 babies. Emma and Ian Jennings are half brother and sister. It also explains why a good portion of residents in the small town of Merryless look similar to each other. Anne Long, the midwife, is at the center of it all. While confusing in the beginning with two different plots, the author has put it all together seamlessly
The Cottage has some events which might be triggering to some, such as inbred children, miscarriage and child death. I found all the characters to have good depth and interesting backstories. I really enjoyed reading it and the mystery surrounding Jan and the “creatures” visiting their house. It is a quick read with lots of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged until the very end.