Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This House is Haunted by John Boyne

This House is Haunted
by John Boyne
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-385-68154-4
Buy from Indigo

Description: 1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.

When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin's walls. Eliza realizes that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall's long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past.

The Good Stuff
  • Dark, Gothic ghost story - one of my favorite type of story to read
  • Great opening line, it hooked me in right away
  • Fast paced and creepy - couldn't put it down even-though it was way to late at night to be reading this type of story
  • Awesome ending, though some may not like it
  • Seriously creepy little child - personally I would have run screaming from the house after I met her
  • Eliza is quite the little spirited thing, you have to love her. Really enjoyed some of the dialogue between her and the various male characters- especially since the author is male
  • Chapter 20 is a pure delight and a wonderful discourse on organized religion 
  • Wonderful atmosphere, while reading you will be constantly looking over your shoulder looking for ghosts - so wonderfully spooky, perfect for a cold Canadian night
  • Story feels like it was written in 1867 not in this day and age and I mean that as a wonderful compliment - those gothic stories were so much fun. A good spooky story that doesn't rely on blood and guts to keep you sleeping with the lights on

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Wanted to smack the heroine because I figured a major plot point (and she so should have) out way before she did
  • Checked our catalogue at work and this seems to be marketed in the adult horror section, think it would do far better if marketed more Teen

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Miss Caine, Mrs Cratchett and I have been married some three years now. If there is one condition I am familiar with, is the tendency of the gentler sex to suffer nervous anxiety."
He offered a polite bow and I considered picking up the large paperweight on his desk, designed for some reason in the shape of Ireland, and bringing it down upon his skull. Would any jury in the land convict me."

"The Bible is written by men, " I declared. "It has gone through so many changes, so many linguistic translations over the centuries that it adapts and re-creates itself in the form of the time in which the reader engages with it. Only a fool believes that the words of the Bible are the words delivered by Christ."

"He had never before shown any interest in American matters. Indeed he had professed his belief on more than one occasion that those who lived on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean were nothing more than barbarous, antagonistic scoundrels who should never have been permitted  independence, an act of disloyalty to the Crown for which the name of Portland should for ever be damned."

4.25 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

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