3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: This House is Haunted (Paperback)
I BLAME CHARLES DICKENS FOR THE DEATH OF MY FATHER. What a great opening line to John Boyne's latest novel, a ghost stoty set in the 19th century. As with Eliza Eliza Caine, my parents instilled in me and my siblings a deep love of the novels of Charles Dickens so the opening line persuaded me to buy this book which is not my usual genre.
Briefly, the plot revolves around Eliza Caine, a governess who is obliged, due to her Father's untimely death, to accept an intriguing job offer at a place called Gaudline Hall in rural Norfolk. On arrival at the Hall she finds her charges, a brother and sister, alone and unsupervised.
It becomes immediately apparent that there are strange happenings afoot in Gaudline Hall but I will go no further into the story as I would not wish to divulge too much about the plot in deference to those who have yet to read this novel.
The story is beautifully written and contains all the elements necessary for a chilling tale i.e., a decaying old house, troubled children, sudden gusts of wind, ghostly noises - even to the taciturn man who meets Eliza at the station when she arrives in the middle of the night to take up her post. Boyne has created a wonderful narrator in Eliza Caine who shows resilience and strength of character throughout.
It may not be the most original story but it is nevertheless effective as Boyne succeeds in creating an atmosphere of tension and there is something absolutely wonderful and comforting about being tucked up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate feeling safe and sound while reading a ghost story that can make one jump from time to time.