This House Is Haunted was curiously flat. I looked forward to a Gothic tale, but found bits lifted from Jane Eyre, The Turn of the Screw, and The Fall of the House of Usher without any of the suspense, without the chilling, disturbing sense of the preternatural.
Diane Setterfield paid homage to Gothic writers in her excellent Gothic novel The Thirteenth Tale, but I'm not sure what Boyne's reasoning was.
Entirely predictable, the novel failed to encourage anything but exasperation that I could feel little for any of the characters aside from amazement at their obtuse behavior.
Six governesses within a year and four of them have died and one has escaped precipitously? The sixth governess has a number of unexplained "accidents." No one finds that questionable?
The conclusion is supposed to be a shocking twist, but you can see it coming from the get go.
Supernatural Mystery? Oct. 8, 2013. Print version: 304 pages.