- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1st Paperback Printing Promotional edition (19 Feb. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007280785
- ISBN-13: 978-0007280780
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
House of Echoes Paperback – 19 Feb 2009
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'Her forte is mood, atmosphere and the toe-curling frisson.' Sunday Times
‘Readers of Barbara Erskine are held in thrall’
‘Stephen King meeting Ruth Rendell’
'Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable' The Times
From the Back Cover
The past isn't always dead or buried…
When Joss Grant, adopted at birth, inherits Belheddon Hall – a beautyful old house on the East Anglian coast – it is like a dream come true. Eager to begin a new life there with Luke, her husband, and Tom, her small son, she is also impatient to find out about her newly discovered family who lived there for generations.
But not long after they move in, Tom wakes screaming at night. Joss hears echoing voices and senses an invisible presence, watching her from the shadows. Are they spirits from the past? Or is she imagining them? As she learns, with mounting horror, of Belheddon's tragic and dramatic history, her fear grows very real, for she realises that both her family and her own sanity are at the mercy of a violent and powerful energy which seems beyond anyone's control.
"Stephen King meeting Ruth Rendell"
"Vivid, romantic and deliciously scary…Erskine at her storytelling best"
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins in the nineteen thirties, when a fourteen year old boy named Adam, while traipsing in the isolated crags of the Scottish highlands near an ancient Celtic stone, meets Brid, a girl whom he mistakes for a gypsy, due to her wild, long hair, and her exotic style of dress. Unbeknownst to him, a portal in time has opened, allowing Adam and Brid, who is actually a Druid from the sixth century, to cross back and forth in time. Adam, however, does not realize that he is actually travelling back and forth in time, while Brid is not only fully aware of what is happening, but is doing so in contravention of what her uncle, a high priest to the Druids, and her training have taught her.
Over time, she becomes obsessive about Adam, who is her first love, while Adam, as he grows up, moves on with his life. In leaving the heartsick Brid behind and consigning her to his memories, he takes his life in a seemingly new direction.
Brid, on the other hand, forsaking the teachings of her people and incurring the wrath of her powerful uncle and a sure sentence of death, is dead serious about Adam, and she goes through the time portal in search of him. Adam, who has by now left home to go to medical school, is unaware of her obsession and of the lifelong quest now set in motion.
Over the years, Adam makes new friends, becomes a doctor, gets married, and has a family, but Brid, trapped in the wrong time, begins to haunt them all, as she searches for Adam. Her obsession with him finally turns deadly, and the body count begins to mount, as she seeks to tear him asunder from all whom he holds dear.Read more ›
Adam Craig is a young Scottish boy growing up in the Highlands, the son of a severe Prebyterian minister in the twenties. Adam's life is shattered when his mother leaves his austere father; Adam begins to wander the hills to escape his misery and becomes fascinated by an ancient pictish cross. When he meets wild and beautiful Brid (pronounced Breed) he spends as much time with her as possible passing off her strange language, superstition and feudal way of life as her being the child of tinkers.
Brid though is of another time, she is a priestess in training and when Adam eventually moves on with his life leaving her behind; a dark obsession is spawned that stretches through the centuries between them and casts a dark curse over 50 years of Adam's life.
What makes this shine as a novel is the wonderfully written characters; no-one in Adam's life is safe from Brid's obsessive possession and the tension of the novel works because you care about these people and worry for their safety. Where this novel falls down is that the airy-fairy mysticism never feels fully grounded and some of the explanations can be confusing. Once the novel progresses post war to Adam's life as a young doctor raising a family the sparkle of the novel seems to dim, as we enter into the sixties and beyond.Read more ›
'On The Edge Of Darkness' is a truly eye-opening book, which provides suspense, magic and mystery, as well as love. It sends the reader through a whole range of emotions, for the first time whilst reading a novel I was actually shocked when events happened as it was never what I was expecting.
A real thrill ride, definatly worth buying! :)
What follows is a nightmare with Joss being aware of voices and what her son calls 'The Tin Man'. Things move of their own volition. Tom's cot is found on the opposite side of the room and family history shows that male children seem to meet untimely ends. Luke suspects Joss may be going mad but Joss knows she isn't.
With plenty of ghostly happenings and lots of misunderstandings between Joss and her sister Lynn who is living with them and looking after Tom and new baby, Ned this is a fast paced and spooky story. The tension mounts until the final spine chilling ending. Not a good idea to read it at night on your own especially if you live in an old house.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the history of the book but I found parts too far fetched to be believed yet quite goodPublished 1 month ago by Linda Ginty
THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I HAVE READ THIS CAPTIVATING BOOK AND IT GETS BETTER. A REALLY BELIEVABLE STORY.. IN SPITE OF THE MAGIC. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A bit slow in parts you wished the story moved along quicker. Not one of her best but if you like her as an author then a pleasing read.Published 1 month ago by xamthe
This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, brilliantly written, as all Barbara Erskine books are. I would highly recommend this book.Published 1 month ago by Chrisine Dickenson
Midway through this book, I love this author. Always lots of twists and turns in her stories.Published 2 months ago by M. Ferrett
Through my enjoyed this book. The characters are believable and the story at times raise the hair on the back of the neck. Interesting twist at the endPublished 2 months ago by Wildfly
I read this on holiday and I couldn't put it down. Captivating! Barbara Erskine is a master story teller & I always look out for a new book from her.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer