This House Is Haunted

This House Is Haunted

4.1 17
by John Boyne, Alison Larkin

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Written in Dickensian prose, This House Is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic nineteenth-century ghost story. Set in Norfolk in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall. When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her


Written in Dickensian prose, This House Is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic nineteenth-century ghost story. Set in Norfolk in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall. When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls. Eliza realizes 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. Clever, captivating, and witty, This House Is Haunted is pure entertainment with a catch.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A perfect, shivery gothic tale." —Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Audio
In Boyne’s thriller, 19th-century England is infused with the supernatural. Narrator Larkin—born in America but raised in England—effectively captures Boyne’s characters, particularly the manner in which both class and gender shape daily life. In giving voice to protagonist Eliza Caine—an unmarried, young schoolteacher who becomes a governess to a wealthy rural family shrouded in mystery—she ably conveys the character’s stoic practicality and idealistic yearning for social acceptance and economic freedom. Larkin also does a masterful job rendering the male voices, especially prominent village figures such as the barrister and clergyman, both steeped in the male privilege of the era. Yet, the most memorable aspect of Larkin’s performance is her eerie portrayal of the two young children at the center of the otherworldly forces that Eliza encounters. An Other Press paperback. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Audio
After the sudden death of her beloved father, Eliza Caine makes the rash decision to leave her teaching position and become governess to two children at bleak Gaudlin Hall. Filled with horrifying circumstances, peculiar characters, and an enigmatic history, this novel, set in 1867, slowly unravels a tragic tale of love, sacrifice, and the supernatural. Alison Larkin's precise diction brings the genteel narrator to life, though listeners might be frustrated by Eliza's initial reticence to ask questions along with the continually furtive answers that she receives. Though the conduct is in keeping with the time period, modern listeners will have to keep this fact in mind. Many plotlines such as Eliza's budding feelings for the married solicitor are never thoroughly realized, interrupt the action and mood, and feel ancillary at best. VERDICT This is a supplementary purchase for most libraries, but it will be enjoyed by fans of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Henry James, and spooky stories. ["With well-drawn characters and surprising twists, this book will appeal to fans of horror and historical fiction as well as anyone who likes a good ghost story," read the review of the Doubleday hc, LJ 10/1/13.]—Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights P.L., TX

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Boyne is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including Crippen, The Thief of Time, The Congress of Rough Riders, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, Alison Larkin is a classically trained actress who has appeared on Broadway with the Royal National Theatre and Off-Broadway with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her unusually wide range of voices can be heard in award-winning audiobooks, cartoons, and movies.

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This House is Haunted 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
This was a great book - a true 19th century classic ghost story with a wonderful setting of a sinister old family mansion full of secrets in a small English town. It's not an in-your-face horror novel, but an elaborately written tale that is chilling and suspenseful. Eliza's character was very well-developed and easy to like and she was such a strong woman for the time period. Not exactly a "modern", as they said in the book, but a woman who wasn't afraid to be a little more assertive and determined than most of that period. The children were a little creepy - not Children of the Corn creepy - just a little off, although Eliza grows to care for them and doesn't go screaming into the night and abandon them when strange things begin to happen. The ending offered a twist I never saw coming, but it seemed appropriate. I could easily have read this book in one sitting due to the pacing and suspense and would have preferred a dark, rainy night to do so - an ideal time to read ghost stories - but unfortunately wasn't able to do that. With Halloween coming, this is the perfect time to read a ghost story and if you prefer foggy, eerie, and ominous over blood, guts, and gore, this is the book for you. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
What I liked most about This House is Haunted, is how it combines elements from a lot of classics from The Turn of The Screw to Rebecca, and mixes them in a new, original book that is reminiscent of old gothic horror reads but has an unique element added. The story is gothic horror, my favorite genre, but unfortunately it doesn’t stir away enough from the well-known elements to turn into something completely unique and original. After her father’s dead, Eliza Caine moves to Norfolk to become a governess at Gaudlin Hall. She finds no parents, but just a young boy and girl in the large mansion, Isabella and Eustace. While she finds it strange, she suspects to meet the parents in the morning. At night, a strange occurence terrifies her, but she’s determined not to be scared off by it. However, when by morning there’s no sign of any parents, she decides to dig deeper into the mystery and find out what’s going on. Her quest for the truth leads her to the revelation that several governesses have died before her in freak accident. When strange things happen all around her, and her life gets threatened, Eliza must make a choice: stay and get to the bottom of the mystery, even if it means she may end up dead, or flee back to London. So we got a bunch of known tropes: the hidden presence in the house, the madwoman, the governess, the scary children, the large mansion, ghosts, a town refusing to speak about a town secret, dreary atmosphere. The lack of original elements bothered me a bit, and brought the rating down for me. I wanted something original, not just a blatant rip-off of the old classics. Not to saying this is just a rip-off – it has a great premise, the writing is excellent, and the children were deliciously scary – but it felt too much like something I’d already read to be truly intriguing. In that context it reminded me of The Secrets of Crickley Hall by James Herbert, except that the latter had a lot more original elements woven in, which made it more entertaining for me. A great read if you’re a fan of ghost sotries, like I am.
Phroglover More than 1 year ago
I have waited a long time for a deliciously, shivery intellectual ghost story that allows the reader to enjoy the ride - without the blood/gore/crassness of modern horror. And this is a novel that uses the English language without the ponderousness of Dickens! I was hooked from the first chapter, and though tempted to check the ending early, I resisted and enjoyed the ride tremendously.
defleppard65 More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book to read if you like paranormal books. This books is good from the beginning to the end. I hope that there will be a 2nd book to this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this has the feel of a book written during Dickensonian times, it reads like a modern tale, where the story flows at a good pace and keeps you hooked. It is a great ghost story for those who like a more traditional type, not a repeat of the latest Hollywood fare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in two days. Good gothic thriller. Easy to figure out the plot twists ahead of time, but well- written and entertaining.
yaye More than 1 year ago
I loved this book wish John Boyne wrote more the same.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Refreshingly old fashioned, gothic ghost story.
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Very well done
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