I don’t think I’ll be giving anything away by telling you that This House is Haunted is about a haunted house. It is a darkly told gothic tale of a governess and the secrets she uncovers at the house where she is employed. Sound like you’ve read this book before? Well, you haven’t. Boyne gives a good twist on a familiar story.
John Boyne is probably most well know for his bestseller The Boy in Stripped Pyjamas. I have not read that book, but from what I understand This House is Haunted does not bear much comparison to his previous work. Boyne appears to be a writer who reinvents himself with every novel he writes. The one thing that is consistent, however, is the high quality of writing. This novel feels like a book written in the Victorian era.
Truthfully, I am not a big fan of gothic ghost stories, but felt compelled to read this as it was given to me by a friend at Random House Canada. However, if you enjoy this genre, and I know that many do, I believe that This House is Haunted is a quality example of what can be done.
Who would like this book? If you enjoy a good old ghost story told in a crumbling English Manor house this book is for you. It reminded me of classics like the Brontes to a certain extent, but also to more recently written gothic tales such as The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeild (btw she has a new novel coming out in November). I also have the feeling that This House is Haunted will be nominated for an award or two. I could be wrong, but that is the feeling I get.
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.