A tale of a ghost in the attic… that was a nice trip into 1940’s England, but didn’t spook me

I really,  really wanted to be spooked by this book. Sarah Waters is an amazing writer, and that fact still remains even though this book is about as scary as someone sneezing in the next room, if it was presented as just a historical novel, it’d be great.

The Good Bits:

  • Love a strong female character who is actively described as a bit of an ugmo
  • Could very much “see” the house, Hundreds, and after binge-watching Downton Abbey couldn’t get the maid’s face as anything other than the character of Daisy from there
  • Ok, even though I said it wasn’t scary, the letters coming through the walls was the only bit that i could imagine happening and would not appreciate

The Bleurgh Bits:

  • The main character was super boring, which sometimes I can tolerate but man, not this time. Wet blanket times a billion
  • A lot of Waters’ other books a GAYYYYYYYY as. This one, not even a bit – hell it didn’t have straight sex for Christs’ sake
  • I thought things that were happening were setting up a whole different ending (like a family curse, or that the narrator was secretly murdering everyone to inherit the house), but it really fizzled out.

I did a bit of googling after finishing the book, and it’s said to be a very ‘traditional’ horror story. If ‘traditional’ means ‘a bit shitty’, then I concur.

In short, read this if you liked Downton Abbey. Don’t read this is you want something spooky – hell, it shouldn’t even be on this site. No shade on Waters though, go read Tipping the Velvet and have your mind blown!


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