Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This House is Haunted by John Boyne

When Eliza Caine’s father dies and leaves her indigent, she has no alternative but to seek work. She responds to an advertisement placed by H Bennet and applies for a post as governess at Gaudlin Hall in Norfolk. 

Almost immediately upon her arrival, she finds herself in an odd situation. There seem to be no adults in the home – only two children, Isabella and Eustace, yet they are expecting her and well cared for. Over the following days, she senses the presence of a malicious spirit who is determined to harm or even kill her. Yet, the ghost has met its match with Eliza, for she is determined to stay and protect the children even if it means she might die in the attempt.

I devoured this novel in one day. It was an easy read, full of exciting twists and turns, and told through the narrative of a very intriguing protagonist. Eliza is not your typical heroine. She is unattractive, destitute, and with little hope for a future filled with love and family. What made her compelling was her fortitude, her curiosity to search for reasons and information, her willingness to die in order to do what is right, her love for the children. And as each secret and the ghost’s motive is revealed, the story grows more profound and interesting.

The Victorian setting in an old manner house is very appealing. This story has much to make it a worthy read. It’s a lovely, old-fashioned ghost story and I highly recommend it as a great escape!

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