This House is Haunted by John Boyne

this-house-is- hauntedI 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. 


  1. Have you read John Boyne’s The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket? Paul and Alice LOVED it. I’ve also read Crippen. Each book bears almost no relation to the others, but we’ve liked them all.

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