I am a great fan of John Boyne, ever since reading The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, however, since reading that book, none of his other books have been able to live up to the greatness of that book. The emotions!. But this book may have surpassed that book for me. The emotions, the mystery, none of the guilt of knowing the events are based on real events but you still get hit with emotions, plus with added horror. This may definitely be my favourite John Boyne book.
This House is Haunted is a horror book, that is set in a different time, 1867 to be exact, a time when Charles Dickins is very much still alive and giving readings of pieces of his work. (There showed a great love for Charles Dickins’ work and as a result, it did make me want to pick up and read one of my books that are currently on my TBR list and bookshelf by Mr Dickins, so that I could appreciate it a lot more.) Unfortunately, it is the result of one of these readings that something happens to begins the path of Eliza Caine.
Eliza is in want of a new job, in a new place, to get away recent memories (trying not to give away to many spoilers). A fresh start. However, the job she has taken, may not be exactly what she expected or what it was entirely advertised. From the moment she arrives at the train station weird things start happening, almost instantly and things don’t stop there. From going to the house and discovering the kids alone with no parents in sight, and the people in the village look and act weirdly around her when they discover where she works, each refusing to answer the ever-growing list of questions she’s getting. What will it take for her to discover the truth about what is happening and what has happened? Is she in danger? Will she stay once she finds out the truth, or will it be too late?
As this book is set in an earlier era, this also means that the reader also needs to be aware that the views are also going to be set in the past and, let’s just say a little “old fashioned” in this book, especially towards women. There were certain parts in this book that just took me by surprise when it came to this and made me question whether I should be offended or just laugh. In the end, it made me laugh because I realised just how far we’ve come in society and how views and opinions have changed, plus I think the way they were put into the book were put there in a comedic way, just to hint at what it was like.
I loved this book!. I found myself becoming so engrossed with every word and with every character, who each had their own story to tell. Even the house become a character in its own weird way. The way the story unfolded was really good as it made you really get into the book and emphasize with several of the characters. We discover and learn all the new information in the book through Eliza, as she is discovering and learning everything about what has happened in the story. Also learning everything about the characters, the village, the house and so on, through the eyes of Eliza. But the ending. Oh My God the ending!
This is one of the best horror books that I have read in a while. It kept me gripped throughout the whole book, which is hard to do, making me deny my crying body wanting sleep. I had so many questions and I just wanted, or needed, these answers, which kept me reading up until the very end. I was able to relate to the main character, Eliza, in this way, who had so many questions and nobody would answer them, which made her frustrated and more determined to discover the truth. Lets just say I also felt her frustration at times as well, but in the best possible ways that keep you hooked and reading until 3am because you as a reader need answers.
I defiantly recommend this book highly!