This House is Haunted

Review by Marsha Perry

This House is Haunted
I blame Charles Dickens for the death of my father.

So begins This House is Haunted by John Boyne.  While the novel isn’t about Dickens, his name comes up frequently. And those of you that like Dickens’s style of writing are sure to adore this scary tale.

The novel centers on a governess, Eliza Caine, who’s forced by circumstances to accept a rather mysterious offer of employment at Gaudline (rhymes with maudlin) Hall.  She finds her charges, a brother and sister, to be totally without supervision.  There’s something strange going on at Gaudline Hall and Miss Caine finds herself in the thick of it.

The novel has some of the same plot elements and mood as Jane Eyre and The Turn of the Screw.  However I enjoyed Eliza Caine more than the heroines from most Gothic stories.  Her manner of dealing with the unexpected is thoughtful and logical. Eliza makes a wonderful guide through creepy Victorian England.

I highly recommend that This House is Haunted be read with the lights on and a warm cup of cocoa close at hand.