Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review of The House of Dead Maids by Clare Dunkle

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.

Don't miss the author's guest post and your chance to win the book here.

16 comments:

Mandi said...

SCARY cover.

But sounds cool!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Mandi - My DH hid the cover jacket because it freaks him out ;)

Karen said...

That is one creepy cover!

India Drummond said...

I have to agree! I'd have to read it as an ebook, so I wouldn't have to see the cover. It's scary!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Karen & India - it's the perfect cover to scare people with at Halloween ;)

Jenny said...

Wow that cover is really disturbing. There's nothing creepier than hollow black eyes - I scare so easily and this one will haunt me for a while. I do love a good ghost story though:) Tabby sounds like a great character, I love a no nonsense girl, thanks for the recommendation!

Darlyn said...

Okay, I love the cover even though I gasp every time i look at it!

bifff said...

The cover alone is enough to make me want to read the book. Awesome.

Raina said...

I agree, if I see it in a bookstore it will be an automatic buy. Before it would have been because of the cover; now it's because it also sounds like a great book.

Fiction Vixen said...

OMG that cover!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

The cover is a bit freaky! This sounds like the perfect Halloween read.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Heather, beautiful blog you have here, and thanks for being my goodreads friend. This book looks really creepy, in a good way!

Tori [Book Faery] said...

YAY! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! It freaked me out when I read it a few months back super late at night hehe.

Liddy said...

Ahh! The cover is creeeeeepy!!!!
Love the review, sounds like one for halloween!
http://lovelylilbookworm.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Your blog is pretty interesting. You might be interested in this ebook I recently came upon. It is a creepy Fantasy-horror. It's called Strange Child by Bethany Cavers. Check it out!

Barnes and Noble Link
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Tales-of-The-Strange-Child-Book-One-Orphaned/Bethany-Cavers/e/2940011915581/?itm=2&USRI=tales+of+the+strange+child

Amazon link
http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Strange-Child-Book-ebook/dp/B003PJ7CFY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1296688385&sr=8-2

mjhearle.com said...

The book had me at that gloriously creepy cover but your review cemented my crush – I must own this book.

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