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The House of Dead Maids Hardcover – 14 Sep 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company (14 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805091165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805091168
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,708,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Dark and beautiful, literary and lovely. . . . Worthy of sitting on a shelf next to "Wuthering Heights.""--"Melissa Marr," author of "Wicked Lovely"
"This is literature. As such, Dunkle leaves no literary allusion untouched, no symbolic leaf unturned, in her quest to reveal the origins of Heathcliff and his unearthly yearning for Catherine Earnshaw-Linton."--"San Antonio Express-News"
"[A]n intriguing, enthralling prequel . . . beautifully written and compelling . . . Tabby's tale will carry you along to its chilling end."--"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"[A] beautifully written, dark tale . . . Those who have read "Wuthering Heights" will appreciate this brilliant, lyrically written tale, but it will engage even those who haven't read Bronte's masterpiece."--"Buffalo News"
"An engrossing thriller and worthy companion to its classic literary inspiration."--"The Horn Book," Starred Review
"Dunkle has incorporated real people (Tabitha Aykroyd was the Brontes' housemaid, well-known for telling her young charges 'otherworldly tales'), fictional characters (the boy is revealed to be a young Heathcliff), and the ancient Druidic practice of human sacrifice into a tense tale of supernatural doings."--"School Library Journal"
"[Dunkle] channels Bronte's gothic atmosphere for a tale more thoroughly soaked in ghostly mayhem. . . . a fantastic, Shirley Jackson-style climax."--"Booklist"
"For readers familiar with Bronte's novel, the final connection is a masterstroke; even those who don't get it will find this a keeper."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"The eloquent and proper style of the language, dialogue, ghostly descriptions, and chapter drawings contribute to the feeling of dread and fear at Seldom House. Young adult fans of Gothic novels are sure to enjoy this intriguing introduction to Heathcliff and use it as a lead into the discovery of "Wuthering Heights.""--"Library Media Connection"
"Be prepared with multiple copies of Bronte's classic, as Dunkle's darkly beautiful imagery and spooky setting will so thoroughly draw young readers in that they will be compelled to at least take a look at her inspiration."--"The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"

Dark and beautiful, literary and lovely. . . . Worthy of sitting on a shelf next to "Wuthering Heights." "Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely"

This is literature. As such, Dunkle leaves no literary allusion untouched, no symbolic leaf unturned, in her quest to reveal the origins of Heathcliff and his unearthly yearning for Catherine Earnshaw-Linton. "San Antonio Express-News"

[A]n intriguing, enthralling prequel . . . beautifully written and compelling . . . Tabby's tale will carry you along to its chilling end. "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"

[A] beautifully written, dark tale . . . Those who have read "Wuthering Heights" will appreciate this brilliant, lyrically written tale, but it will engage even those who haven't read Bronte's masterpiece. "Buffalo News"

An engrossing thriller and worthy companion to its classic literary inspiration. "The Horn Book, Starred Review"

Dunkle has incorporated real people (Tabitha Aykroyd was the Brontes' housemaid, well-known for telling her young charges otherworldly tales'), fictional characters (the boy is revealed to be a young Heathcliff), and the ancient Druidic practice of human sacrifice into a tense tale of supernatural doings. "School Library Journal"

[Dunkle] channels Bronte's gothic atmosphere for a tale more thoroughly soaked in ghostly mayhem. . . . a fantastic, Shirley Jackson style climax. "Booklist"

For readers familiar with Bronte's novel, the final connection is a masterstroke; even those who don't get it will find this a keeper. "Kirkus Reviews"

The eloquent and proper style of the language, dialogue, ghostly descriptions, and chapter drawings contribute to the feeling of dread and fear at Seldom House. Young adult fans of Gothic novels are sure to enjoy this intriguing introduction to Heathcliff and use it as a lead into the discovery of "Wuthering Heights." "Library Media Connection"

Be prepared with multiple copies of Bronte's classic, as Dunkle's darkly beautiful imagery and spooky setting will so thoroughly draw young readers in that they will be compelled to at least take a look at her inspiration. "The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Clare B. Dunkle is the author of the acclaimed Hollow Kingdom trilogy, as well as By These Ten Bones and The Sky Inside. She lives with her family in San Antonio, Texas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Clare B. Dunkle has tried out a lot of different genres -- a fantasy trilogy, a sci-fi duology, and a masterful historical horror tale. "The House of Dead Maids" easily fits into the last category, with ghastly dead girls slipping through a strange cursed house, but Dunkle makes the living characters just as creepy... even a strange little boy with no name.

Tabby Ackroyd is the new "young maid" at Seldom House, charged to take care of a wild, nameless boy (known as "Himself"), who is apparently the new master of the house (even though he's not related to the OLD master). But Tabby soon discovers that there's something horribly wrong with her new position -- nobody except her cares about Himself, there isn't a church nearby, and strange ghostly girls with pitlike eyes keep appearing.

But the most horrifying discovery is when Tabby realizes that one of the dead girls was the previous maid -- and she's only one of many maids who has died there. As she tries to protect herself and Himself from the evil forces surrounding (and filling) Seldom House, Tabby begins to realize that the danger is not just aimed at the little boy, but at herself as well.

"The House of Dead Maids" has some interesting literary connections -- Tabby is based on the Bronte sisters' housekeeper, and Himself... well, you'll find out who he is, and why his wild, passionate ways are so important. But even if you're unfamiliar with Bronte lore, this book is still a magnificent story -- think a gothic horror story for kids.

Most of this comes from Dunkle's command of language and atmosphere. The entire book drips with dank, heavy gothic atmosphere and a general feeling of impending doom ("She was nothing but a hollowed-out skin plumped up with shadow").
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Format: Hardcover
I was curious what the Young Adult Fiction genre was churning out this days, so I selected The House of Dead Maids to review. Turns out, this novel, by Clare B. Dunkle, is one of those "cross-over" stories that will appeal to readers of many ages. However, I would take the recommendation "ages 12 and up" very seriously. There's not a chapter that doesn't have corpses or ghosts or both, as well as the cruelty of living people. Unless your grade-schooler has built up an immunity to literary horror, I would wait until they were at least in 5th grade.

Tabby, a nursemaid, and her young master, known only as Himself, see a dead maid and a dead master in their new home. No one will Tabby how the dead maid died, and the dead master was known for his horrible temper. The staff are a very unusual assortment of characters, and the house is not kept properly, which foreshadows the many secrets of Seldom House.

"In most houses, family's related by birth. Seldom House family's related by death."

This novel is not your average ghost story by any means; The House of Dead Maids is a skilled mixture of suspense, horror and historical fiction based on a real housekeeper to Emily Bronte's family. The author even writes that she was inspired by Wuthering Heights.

I enjoyed this book so much, I plan on reading more by Clare B. Dunkle.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book before I read Wuthering Heights and while I must confess, it's not anywhere near a classic in it's own right, it is certainly a good read. Even though I'm 20, there were a couple of parts of it that I found genuinely disturbing - maybe it wasn't a good idea to read this one late at night! It does serve as a worthy prelude to Wuthering Heights, however, and I would recommend it. The only real downside I can find to it, is that it is rather short... although Wuthering Heights is no War and Peace in length!
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