Book Review: This House is Haunted by John Boyne


The full synopsis for this book can be found here, but the gist of the story is a woman, after losing her father and last remaining family member, moves to the country become governess at the mysterious Gaudlin Hall where a “presence” resides. This book was written by the same author who wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

This was a fun book. I love creepy and “things that go bump in the night”-type stories. This was a classic ghost story if ever I read one. I love the setting (1867 England) which just adds to the aura of gloom to the story; Charles Dickens at the height of his writing career, the prelude years of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes. This story reminded me a great deal of the movie “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman. You remember it? The mother and children living in a wealthy estate in post-war England, the haunted mansion and the creepy caretakers? Yeah, this was very reminiscent of that and I loved it! I think the narrator occasionally slipped into modern terminology and that was disorienting at times, but for the most part this writing was right on queue for an edge-of-your-seat ghost story. I recommend it for anyone who liked the Dickens’ ghost stories, or for that matter “The Others” and that type of story.

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