The House Of Special Purpose by John Boyne is a simply marvellous, epic, historical novel that totally consumed me.
John Boyne is a fabulous author who has clearly researched the Romanov family and their role in history. He has combined facts with fiction to produce a compelling read. The facts are extrapolated as the novel speeds to its conclusion. As a historian, I knew what was coming but was totally fascinated never-the-less.
The novel follows the main protagonist forwards from 1915 and backwards from 1981, until the two time periods collide. Both time periods are written in the first person and from the same viewpoint.
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.