1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.
When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.
From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realises that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past
I came across this book because someone I knew had read it, they told me it scared them to the point that they slept with the lights on after reading it. Being a curious creature I had to find out for myself whether it was truly as scary as they described it.
I am pleased to report my sleep has not been interrupted by spectral accuracies and I have not been scared out of my wits. What I have found however is a wonderfully written ghost story. Whereas I did not feel like there was a presence watching me as some books have induced in the past, I did find myself feeling rather sad. This story of loss and death puts me in mind of Wuthering Heights in its style. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did and I think anyone who enjoys a suspenseful story will also get lost in its pages as I did.
Having had a psychic gift since around the age of seven, stories such as this have always been interesting and entertaining. Some of what Eliza Caine has been through I can relate to and some of it I am glad I have not. The author’s talent for chilling a reader to the bone with mere words is a talent that I am glad I have had the privilege of experiencing.
I hope that people enjoy this sometimes unnerving and sad tale as much as I did.