My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 304
Publisher - Doubleday
Source - Gift from SS in a book group
Blurb from Goodreads
1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.
When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.
From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realises that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past…
Eliza takes a job as a child carer in Norfolk, she has an unsettling encounter almost from the moment she reaches the place. As she gets to the house things get weirder and more unsettling, the children are a delight so why can they not keep a nanny? Her first night she has a terrifying encounter and as the days progress there are more bumps in the night. With a wall of silence to her questions, strange reactions from the villagers and fearing for her safety, Eliza decides she will find out, one way or another, exactly what happened to those before her and what is terrifying her at her new home.
A bit of a slow build with this one, we know quickly things aren't right and there is a bit of spookiness going on. Some of the scenes are really well done however some of Eliza's behaviour and choices irritated me. I loved the children and as we get the reveal of that which has passed things start to make sense. Some took a while to come to fruition however I did enjoy the book and got a wee bit creeped with some of the scenes.
I do enjoy Boyne's work and whilst I liked this, I didn't love it. Enjoyable and put me in the mood for reading more of the same. I will read this author again as after reading his newest book I loved it so much I bought a few from his back catalogue. 3/5 for me this time.
This sounds very atmospheric. Too bad that it fell short in some ways. It does sound like many other stories such as The Turn of the Screw. With that, this type of tale can be very be fascinating.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your honest review of this book, Lainy. It sounds like you enjoyed this for the most part.ReplyDelete
I have never read any John Boyne, but I think if I do I will start with The Heart's Invisible Furies as that has gotten a lot of buzz recently!ReplyDelete