The book cover and a desolate Norfolk landscape

The Marsh House

Inspired by the classic children’s novel When Marnie Was There, and the otherworldly, watery landscape of the North Norfolk marshes, Zoë’s second novel is a supernatural tale of families, madness and murder. Its central themes are mothers, daughters and inheritance. Part ghost story, part novel of suspense The Marsh House is a haunting novel, where two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by one mysterious house on the North Norfolk coast.

December, 1962 
Desperate to salvage something from a disastrous year, Malorie rents a remote house on the Norfolk coast for Christmas. But once there, the strained silence between her and her daughter, Franny, feels louder than ever. Digging for decorations in the attic, she comes across the notebooks of the teenaged Rosemary, who lived in the house years before. Though she knows she needs to focus on the present, Malorie finds herself inexorably drawn into the past…

July, 1931 
Rosemary lives in the Marsh House with her austere father, surrounded by unspoken truths and rumours. So when the glamorous Lafferty family move to the village, she succumbs easily to their charm. Dazzled by the beautiful Hilda and her dashing brother, Franklin, Rosemary fails to see the danger that lurks beneath their bright facades…

As Malorie reads on, the boundaries between past and present begin to blur, in this haunting novel about family, obligation and deeply buried secrets.


Zoë discusses the influences behind the book in these interviews with Culturefly and the Courier Evening Telegraph.


“Zoë Somerville is a born storyteller and this page-turner delivers plenty of creepy thrills.”

Antonia Senior, The Times

“A haunting read.”

Woman’s Weekly

“Past and present merge in this eerie, compelling tale of family secrets.”

Woman’s Own

The Marsh House was published in March 2022, and is available from Waterstones, Amazon and

Zoe Somerville signing books