Monday, October 04, 2010

Ethel, I think you underestimated your transmitter!

The Seance
John Harwood

Can I just say how much I LOVE this time of year? True, the fall also coincides with a return to work which is, of course, full of UGH, but even a return to grading and poorly constructed sentences and forgotten homework can't make me entirely dislike autumn. AND, it's time for SPOOKY READS! Which are, of course, full of win.

So, you might remember John Harwood from The Ghost Writer, which was, as I recall, "a pretty good time." Now he's back with The Seance, an equally atmospheric Gothic mystery set in Victorian England.

Constance Langton has problems. Her father doesn't care about her, and her mother is too busy mourning her dead sister to care much about her, either. Constance begins to delve into the nascent spiritualist community in hopes of helping her mother move on from her grief.

Whoops. So much for THAT. The best of intentions, and all that. Before you know it, Constance learns she has inherited Wraxford Hall, a mouldering old mansion in the countryside, from a distant reputation. The lawyer who tells her of this inheritance warns her to sell the building without setting foot in it -- it has been the site of numerous apparitions, disappearances, and deaths. The Hall remains shrouded in mystery.

But this wouldn't be an entertaining novel if Constance were to listen. Soon she finds herself searching for the truth behind Wraxford Hall.

The Seance is a nice little novel that is both spooky and endearing. My only complaint is that I had a hard time envisioning some of the action (especially as the mystery was explained); however, this confusion is probably due to my unfamiliarity with the layout of such great homes. (Also, I was reading on my Kindle while walking on my treadmill. So I'm sure that didn't increase my comprehension. Oh well.)

In a nutshell: Charming, spooky, mysterious -- great fun.

Bibliolatry Scale: 5 out of 6 stars

FTCBS: Personal Kindle copy here

RIPV: Ghosts, seances, and a mystery? You're darn right The Seance counts toward this year's RIP challenge. BAM!


Jessica said...

this sounds quite good for an october read. I think I'll download this myself so thanks for the review

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read The Ghost Writer and The Seance for ages. Glad you liked it. By the way, I love your writing style and your blog!