Maggie has witnessed impossible things. But no one believes her, and now her family has taken her away to spend the winter upstate in a remote, freezing farmhouse.
Bored and angry, Maggie and her younger sister Kate start to play tricks: rapping on the floorboards above their parents’ bedroom, cracking their toes under the table, and telling tales about noises in the night. Then the house starts to make sounds of its own. Neither Maggie nor Kate can explain it, but it seems as though someone – or something – is trying to speak to them...
Inspired by the incredible true tale of the Fox Sisters, the girls who made their fortune in nineteenth-century America by speaking to ghosts.
Catherine Barter grew up in Warwickshire, and then lived in Norwich for ten years, where she worked in a library, a bookshop, and for an organisation campaigning for the rights of garment workers. After gaining a PhD in American literature, she ditched academia for the lucrative world of independent bookselling. Currently she lives in East London and co-manages Housmans, a radical independent bookshop in King’s Cross.
This is a chilling story for older readers, subtle and creeping with echoes of Shirley Jackson. Maggie is a wonderful character, impulsive and flawed but hugely relatable, and her slow realisation that she might be in over her head whilst nobody believes her is heartbreakingly written
Rich in historic atmosphere and detail, and smouldering with female desire to be heard in a patriarchal society, Catherine Barter’s We Played with Fire is a hauntingly riveting read