This House is Haunted

This House is Haunted

4.1 17
by John Boyne

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

See more details below


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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1867 England, 21-year-old Eliza Caine is left completely alone in the world when her father suddenly takes ill and dies. In a fit of melancholia, she responds to an advertisement for a governess to care for a pair of children in the wilds of Norfolk. When she receives a positive response, Eliza realizes that her life is about to undergo a cataclysmic change: she has never been out of London, she has never been a governess, and she knows nothing about Gaudlin Hall—which turns out to be an imposing pile of a building, spine-chillingly odd, unsettling, and spooky—or her new employers. Drawing sometimes excessively on Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, and the works of Wilkie Collins and Dickens, Boyne (The House of Special Purpose) creates a subtle, satisfying tale of ghostly terror. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Great fun… Boyne keeps up a constant barrage of surprises and the pace is terrific.” —The Times (UK)

“An adventure that will delight Dickens fans and intrigue anyone who dares to follow her on her journey.” —The Daily Express (UK)

"A perfect, shivery gothic tale." —Booklist 

"Like the writers of Victorian ghost tales to which he pays homage, Boyne is a master at creating an unsettling presence. This House Is Haunted gathers momentum right up to the stunning denouement, and ends with one word that serves as an icy finger down the spine." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Boyne’s plotting and pacing are first-rate, and his mastery of the slow-boil is evident..." —The Daily Beast

"[This House Is Haunted] is a classic Dickensian ghost story, with an unexpected and horrific twist." —Glamour

"Boyne paints a picture that is both gloomy and thrilling, creepy and enticing...The result is a novel, just in time for Halloween, that is fast-paced, unputdownable, lively and intelligent, without being oppressively creepy." —The Record

"This House Is Haunted is a good old-fashioned ghost story—a real indulgence and a fine read all around." —Book Reporter

"John Boyne applies his dependably fluid writing style to this eerie Victorian ghost story, which offers an unsettling—in a good way—blend of the conventional and the unexpected...Boyne knows the precise moment to shake things up with a sudden, sharp surprise."—Reading The Past

"Literate horror fans will take wicked delight in [This House Is Haunted]..." —Bookpage

"Rife with Gothic elements, This House is Haunted will please fans of Jane Eyre, Ann Radcliffe and the like. A beautiful call back to the height of Gothic Literature." —The Readist

"‘This House is Haunted by John Boyne is everything a classic ghost story should be...pure Gothic fun." —Fourth Street Review

"Fans of Gothic novels will definitely enjoy This House is Haunted. Its appeal, however, stretches further than to just those who are looking for an entertaining Gothic homage...[A]n alluring work of fiction that encompasses what we most look for in a novel." –Acid Free Pulp

Kirkus Reviews
Standard gothic fare, from the frisson of cold hands on one's throat to creepy ghosts. It's 1867, and teacher and narrator Eliza Caine is grieving the recent death of her father. She rather impulsively decides to leave her position as a teacher of young girls in London and pursue a governess's position in Norfolk. The oddness begins when she finds out that the advert she'd responded to in the paper was placed by the previous governess rather than by the parents of the two children at Gaudlin Hall. When Eliza arrives, she finds two precocious children: 12-year-old Isabella and 8-year-old Eustace, both bright and both very strange. Eliza also discovers that there are no parents or guardians in sight, and the people in the village become downright uncomfortable when Eliza brings up this delicate topic. To her dismay, she also discovers that in the previous 12 months, she's been the sixth governess to tend the children. Gradually and reluctantly, a few acquaintances open up about the goings-on at Gaudlin Hall. Eliza discovers that the first governess, Miss Tomlin, had been brutally beaten by Santina, Isabella and Eustace's exotic and obsessed mother. In the same attack, she battered her husband beyond recognition, and in a bow to Jane Eyre--and for a time unknown to Eliza--the children's brutalized father is found to be still living at Gaudlin Hall, tended by an irascible nurse. Although Santina was executed for the murder, her spirit still roams the hall, interfering with Eliza's attempts to tend to her charges. Boyne saves a nice surprise for the last word of the novel, but otherwise, this is not edge-of-your-seat scary.
Library Journal
When Eliza Caine's father dies unexpectedly in 1867, Eliza is left on her own in London, and as a result, she impulsively answers a somewhat cryptic advertisement seeking a governess at Gaudlin Hall in Norfolk. However, before she ever sets foot in Gaudlin Hall, a mysterious force seems intent on harming her. Eliza's situation becomes even more baffling as she discovers that her two young charges, Isabella and Eustace, are living on their own in the manor house, their parents mysteriously absent. Everyone she meets wants nothing more than to avoid talking about Gaudlin Hall and its residents, present and past. The only thing that Eliza is certain of is that there is an entity in the house that wants her dead, and she must uncover the secrets of the house if she wants to protect the children and escape the fate of her predecessors. VERDICT While the title is rather uninspired, Boyne's (The Absolutist) latest work is anything but. In this tribute to the classic 19th-century ghost story, Boyne follows in the footsteps of his literary forebears as the novel invokes elements of Charles Dickens (who makes a guest appearance), Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre), and Henry James (The Turn of the Screw). 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.—Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola

Read More

Product Details

Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >