(On impulse, I grabbed this book from the display table of my local library; the photo on the front grabbed my attention first, and then the title. Proof that I am primarily a visual person!)
“This House is Haunted”, by John Boyne (who also wrote “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”), is a ghost story spun from the point of view of a stubborn, bookish governess, and is set in 1867.
For some of you, that would be enough, you’d be off to order it from your local library or (gasp!) download it onto your Kindle.
For the REST of you, for anyone who has read Dickens and his description of 19th-century England (and the clear-cut, sociological examinations of issues of class, gender, and opportunity – or lack thereof – ), or is entranced by the ghostly mystery of “Jane Eyre,” you will absolutely adore this book! The 21-year-old governess, Ms. Eliza Caine, is a sturdy woman. She is the only child of a sweet, educated entomologist whose admiration of Charles Dickens (who makes an appearance in the beginning chapters of the book) is childlike with delight.
I can’t say a whole lot more without giving away key aspects of the plot, so I won’t.
I didn’t want it to end – at a slim 291 pages, I found myself wishing Mr. Boyne had dragged it out a little more, had added more ghostly encounters or added more characters, had had someone else come to their demise…