Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Book Review: This House is Haunted by John Boyne

Pros: some chilling scenes

Cons: it takes Eliza a long time to figure out what's happening

After the sudden death of her father, Eliza Caine answers an ad to become governess at Gaudlin Hall.  But something's not right in her new home and no one will answer her questions about the parents of her charges, the tragedies that have taken place at Gaudlin Hall, or the ghost that's trying to kill her.

I'd say this book is a cross between The Haunting of Hill House, for the atmospherics and period, and The Shining, for the constant anticipation of something bad happening.  Boyne does an excellent job of putting you in Eliza's place, feeling her terror, and trying to survive what's to come.

While I really liked Eliza I did feel it took longer than it should have for her to figure out what was going on.  Having said that, I enjoyed seeing regular life at the Hall interspersed with her learning more about the place's history.

If you like ghost stories, this is a winner.

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