Review: This House is Haunted by John Boyne

 Book review | This House is Haunted by John Boyne | 4 stars

This House is Haunted by John Boyne

Cover photography: Johnny Ring
Design: Tom Poland/TW
DoubleDay 2013
ISBN: 978 0 857 52093 7



‘I blame Charles Dickens for the death of my father…’

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 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 sign of her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience 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 violent attentions, she must uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of the past.

Bullet-point review


+ creepy childrens
+ ghosts
+ scary old house with lots of secrets
+ stubborn village people unwilling to reveal the truth
+ ending

Full Review

This book has everything a good old fashioned scary story should have. Some scary children who have seen tragedy at too young an age, a couple of ghosts, a scary old mansion, some stubborn village people and a disturbing ending, where you were led to believe the story was over…

I loved the main character in this book, who is straightforward, doesn’t believe in women-are-the-weaker-sex nonsense, and has a healthy disregard for god. She doesn’t let anyone keep her from reaching her goals (whether that is talking to the local sollicitor or staying alive and uncovering all the secrets).

Recommend if you’re into (not-too-scary) ghost stories.


4 thoughts on “Review: This House is Haunted by John Boyne

Add yours

    1. Haha, perhaps not. Though these kids became scary because of some severe emotional traumas. So there’s at least sort of a reason for it.
      I love John Boyne’s writing style though!

      Liked by 1 person

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