Starve Acre: A Novel (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Starve Acre: A Novel By Andrew Michael Hurley Cover Image
On our shelves now:
Lake Forest Park (order processing takes 24 hours)
2 on hand, as of May 21 8:35am

Staff Reviews

This is a perfect October read for Horror newbies and veterans alike. As a prime example of Gothic Folk Horror, it relies on atmosphere and implication as a means to unnerve as we watch a land's history mingle with a couple's grief in eerie and sinister ways. Never has a rabbit sitting on a lap been so foreboding. 

— From Dean


An atmospheric and unsettling story of the depths of grief found in an ancient farm in northern England, soon to be a major motion picture starring Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark.

The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby's son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place. Convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, Juliette seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree. But as they delve further into their grief, both uncover more than they set out to.

Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.

About the Author

Andrew Michael Hurley is based in Lancashire. His first novel, The Loney, was published in twenty languages, and won the Costa Best First Novel Award and the Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards. Devil's Day, his second novel, was picked as a Book of the Year in five newspapers, and won the Encore Award.

Praise For…

"[Hurley] ably captured the vibe of the era’s demon-spawn novels like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. . . Top-shelf gothic-folk horror."
Kirkus (Starred Review)

“The best closing line of any novel we have read this year . . . A strange and unsettling read.”
The Times (UK), a Fiction Book of the Year pick
“A tour de force of physiological fantasia . . . Writing of this quality - sensuous, exact, observant - ensures that other scenes, too, pulse with vitality . . . Hurley's gothic storylines send specters of deathliness through his fictional world. His prose brings it vividly alive”
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (UK), Fiction Book of the Year pick
“Hurley is a graceful, confident stylist and for this reason alone he is a joy to read."
The Guardian
“Expertly paced . . . creepy and marvelous.”
Daily Mail, a “Books of the Year” pick

“[Hurley] is one of the most interesting and eerie writers of contemporary horror.”
The Scotsman

“Hurley has a slow and steady hand in establishing a gloomy, nearly gothic atmosphere, allowing his characters’ grief room to breathe even as he tightens the noose in ways readers won’t see coming until the chilling and memorable conclusion. This is folk horror that knows how to take its time.”
Publisher's Weekly

“Brilliantly written . . . Evoking Ted Hughes's style of writing, Hurley is adept at seamlessly intertwining the malignant savagery of nature with abstract use of imagery for horror effect. He has this uncanny ability of bringing the palpable supernatural to life with a neat, serene turn of phrase. All these hallmarks of superlative writing are in full display in this impeccable work of folk horror. Starve Acre is a haunting portrait of what happens in the liminal space between grief and sanity.”
Irish Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143137788
ISBN-10: 0143137786
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: July 4th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English