Title: The House of Dead Maids
Author: Clare Dunkle
Pages: 146 pages, hardcover
Genre: Gothic ghost story
Standalone/Series: standalone (written as a prequel to Wuthering Heights)
Release: Sept. 14, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Received from Blue Slip Media
Author info: http://www.claredunkle.com/Design/maidsjacket.htm
Spoiler Alert: In the clear
GoodReads Blurb: Young Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage little creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, as Tabby soon discovers. The ghost of the last maid will not leave Tabby in peace, yet this spirit is only one of many. Why do scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House with a jealous devotion that extends beyond the grave?
As Tabby struggles to escape the evil forces rising out of the land, she watches her young charge choose a different path. He is determined to keep Seldom House as his own. Though Tabby tries to befriend the uncouth urchin, her kindness cannot alter his fate. Long before he reaches the old farmhouse of Wuthering Heights, the boy who will become Heathcliff has doomed himself and any who try to befriend him.
This is definitely an atmospheric book from the creepy cover to the dust covered and haunted Seldom House you learn about inside. Though The House of Dead Maids is not the typical type of book I read, I really enjoyed the gothic feel of the book and the stark and dreary ghost story. We start the book with Tabby's journey to Seldom House and the crossroads she takes and a mysterious boat journey which all leads her to a house that seems sinister and uninviting. Little hints are dropped thoughout the beginning of the book that something is not right with her companions or the house she is going to but the truth of what is going on is all the more spine-chilling.
Tabby, the main protagonist in the story, has a no-nonsense way about her and faces her challenges well for an eleven year old. Tabby is based on the Brontë sisters housekeeper whose ghost stories might have inspired the sisters future tales, such as Wuthering Heights. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a good ghost story to read during Halloween.
4 out of 5 stars, a great and goose-bump raising gothic tale.
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I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com