The Seance [Paperback]
- Publication Date:
- 02 April 2009
- Modern & Contemporary
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The back blurb says read it if you like being scared out of your wits. I can't say I found the book scary at all, however this didn't lessen the enjoyment factor for me. It really was a fabulous story. It put me in mind of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, which is one of my favourites. This novel has all the essential ingredients of a classic Victorian tale: the is-she-isn't-she mad scenario, the is-he-isn't-he really menacing husband, a spooky mystery, threats of the madhouse, disapproving mothers, diamonds disappearing under mysterious circumstances... what a treat! I'd love to see this made into a drama, I'm certain it would absolutely hook the viewer as the book had me hooked from start to finish. I love the writing style and read this book far too late into the night than is sensible on a weekday. I had this book on my wish list for ages before finally buying it and I can't believe I waited so long - I'll definitely be looking out for more by this author.
Really enjoyed this book.
The story of the terrible and mysterious Wraxford Hall, inherited by Constance Langton. The story is told by three people: Constance herself, John Montague, who is the executor of Wraxford and friend of Magnus, who inherits the hall, and Eleanor Unwin, who, well, that's best left unsaid. Like all good haunted houses, Wraxford is surrounded by a dark, forboding wood, Monk's Wood, where even schoolchildren are afraid to play.The novel is dark and atmospheric in the same way as The Ghost Writer and while the idea of a haunted building is similar, the two novels are quite different. This one is also excellent though.Sadly, though, it's only available as an import until next year. Still, it's worth it if you can get your hands on it. Very much so. Perfect for those dark thunderstorms of summer.
Constance Langton grows up in an unhappy home with a distant father and a mother who has lost herself in mourning. When she is sixteen her father leaves them and Constance is left to run the house and tend her mother. She turns to spiritualism and seances in an effort to reach through the fog of her mother's grief. This is the kind of atmospheric, creepy story that made me fall in love with the things that hide under the bed. John Harwood takes the small idea of the unhappy, ignored child and uses it to explore the lengths people will go to to find love and acceptance. The ending is much better than in his other novel "The Ghost Writer," but it's a little too expected. I'm still giving it 5 stars though for everything that comes before. A real treat - highly recommended.
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