This House Is Haunted by John Boyne is a totally gripping historical novel that had me spellbound from the very first page. I just could not put it down.
The novel is set in 1867, partly in London but mainly in Norfolk. There are cultural references of the day to author Charles Dickens and his works and characters, as well as to other literary works of the time.
John Boyne has written a brilliant story using elements of the Gothic tradition – with crumbling houses, candlelight, shadows, unexplainable happenings. The reader is completely hooked as we read with baited breath to see what the outcome will be. The ending does not disappoint but left me gasping in a ‘wow’ moment.
All the characters are well drawn. Some had an air of menace surrounding them, others were quietly disarming. The leading character was a forward thinking, brave young woman who sought out to break the chain. We see the action in the first person through her eyes.
I thoroughly enjoyed This House Is Haunted. It was a departure from my usual genre. It was also a change from the previous John Boyne novels that I had read set in World War I and II. John Boyne is a very talented author and I look forward to reading much more by him.