Saturday, March 17, 2018

Current Books, Including a Thrilling Gothic by John Boyne

Winter continues unabated. Tonight the temperature will drop to 1 degree F. Unheard of for mid-March. But I'm loving it! There's nothing  like heaping loads of blankets on the bed at night.

Oh, am I ever thrilling to This House is Haunted by John Boyne, author of the well-known young adult novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The gothic is set in 1867, principally on an estate in Norfolk. The narrator  is a 21-year-old, well-educated young woman who impulsively abandons her home in  London the week after her father's untimely death to take the position of governess at a stately mansion. Problems arise when she arrives and discovers that there are no adults present in the household. There are only her charges Isabella, aged twelve, and her brother Eustace, aged eight. No parents, no servants, no one, except for an older man who sees to the stables and barnyard animals.

This novel also has ghostly appearances, but they are subtly treated and the book does not overlap into the paranormal genre.  I simply have been unable to put the book down. Boyne's style, his tone, his originality most of all, have made this a delightful read for this Gothic-loving reader. I will hate to see it end, and I am three-quarters through. Sigh.

I am now listening to Tina Fey's Bossypants. Parts  of it are so funny, I have been unable to wash dishes safely, or  exercise. I really need to listen to it sitting in the middle of a very large bed, so I don't fall over the side, laughing. Of course, some chapters are better than others, but still. Very funny.


  1. We've had two lots of snow within a couple of weeks too. Quite unusual for March but rather nice. We've had a proper winter this year so hopefully there will be less garden pests in the spring.

    I like the sound of This House is Haunted, I didn't know he wrote ghost stories.

    1. Hi Cath,
      I was surprised to find that Boyne wrote a very gothic book, and a very good one, I will say. Setting 1867 on an estate in Norfolk.

  2. This House is Haunted sounds marvelous--love books like that.

    I loved Bossy Pants--listening to Tina Fey read her memoir is the best way to "read" it imo.

    1. Jane,
      Oh, how I agree about good gothics. They are the supreme indulgence and sometimes darn good literature, I think. At least in this case, I definitely think so.
      Listening is the best for Bossypants, I totally agree.
      I felt the same about Bruce Springsteen's memoir, which is a 5-star classic, AND Alec Baldwin's.