Some houses are never at peace.
Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.
Something suitably spooky for All Hallows’ Eve today, this gorgeous ghost story is set in fine Gothic tradition, in an old house with a dark past. Pretty much every resident has secrets and one in particular will do anything to keep them.
I loved this book, Gothic style novels set in big houses is so very up my street. I grew up in a hundred year old house with absolutely nothing creepy about it, which was very disappointing and I think that might be why I love books about sinister houses so much.
What I liked about this story though was that the tragedy in its past wasn’t in the distant past, the people living there were part of it, it happened only about 20 or 30 years before.
So many creepy houses have an ancient mystery so to have one that’s fairly recent and the people who know the truth still living and not just an old diary is interesting.
The period it’s set is interesting itself, 1917, a year before the end of a war the likes no one had ever seen before, the age of a fascination with the supernatural that began in the Victorian era, but that intersects with new leaps in science and knowledge. It’s a very interesting time to set this story in.
I am interested in the people who believed in ghosts and the existence of spirits (I don’t believe in ghosts fyi) like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, and the attempts to use things like cameras and recording devices (all new scientific inventions) to capture these mystery beings.
The protagonist, Stella, is a sceptic, but even she starts to be affected by the strange goings on in her sister’s new home, and bravely decides to try to resolve things and lay angry spirits to rest.
This is an excellent addition to the spooky house canon, and another piece of evidence that we’re living through an excellent revival of Gothic fiction.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book but all opinions remain my own.