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review 2018-06-03 23:09
Someone in the House
Someone in the House - Barbara Michaels

I liked this book but I think it's crazy that someone moved a huge mansion including the dead people buried under it to Pennsylvania. Why would you want dead people buried there that are not your ancestors? Why would you go through the trouble? I liked the build up of the story with them having 4 different ideas of what was going on but I felt like the ending was a little deflating. I was hoping for something more but I do kind of like the ending but wish there were something more and that it wasn't so sudden and brief. I would love to wander around in a big, old place like that and examine every part of it. I love the idea of researching the other owners and learning their stories. This book was definitely better than Black Rainbow.

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review 2018-06-03 05:13
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

Dr. Montague is an occult scholar who believes that he has found in Hill House the perfect place to document and study paranormal activity. He plans to stay there for several months with a few other people, keeping detailed notes about his findings and experiences. He is asked to have Luke, the heir to Hill House, accompany him, and he selects two others, Theodora and Eleanor, as his assistants. Theodora is a vibrant artist who may or may not be psychic - in laboratory tests she was able to identify fifteen or more cards out of twenty without being able to see them. As a child, Eleanor experienced a three-day incident in which stones showered upon her home's roof for no apparent reason.

I read this because I wanted a good "haunted house" story. It started off strong, if a bit slow. I liked the image of Eleanor as some who had broken free, however briefly, from the cage of her home and family. She'd spent a good deal of her life caring for her ailing mother, and after her mother's death she was forced to live under her sister's thumb. Just starting her journey to Hill House was a tremendous ordeal for her.

Eleanor and Theodora's arrivals at Hill House were great, and underscored one thing that came up repeatedly in the book,

the importance of characters' perceptions of their surroundings. When Eleanor arrived at Hill House, it was an inherently monstrous and evil place, and Dudley's antagonism and Mrs. Dudley's creepiness only enhanced that interpretation. When Theodora arrived, however, Hill House immediately became more tolerable, and Mrs. Dudley's recitation might as well have been a recording for all the notice Theodora and Eleanor took of it.

(spoiler show)


While the characters, Hill House's history, and the tour of Hill House were interesting enough, I started to get impatient as the pages went by and still nothing had happened as far as the haunting aspect went. I enjoyed the supernatural activities once they finally started up, but I wish it hadn't taken quite so long,

approximately half the book.

(spoiler show)


It's been several weeks and I'm still not sure how I feel about how things turned out. It wasn't entirely a surprise, but I still ended up looking at the last few pages and thinking "Really? That's it?" I bet it'd be fun to debate what really happened during this group's stay at Hill House, though.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-06-02 03:44
A reread, and I finally figured this one out
Be Buried in the Rain - Barbara Michaels

I've read this at least three times, maybe more, with the most recent reread about a year ago when I was reading all of the Barbara Michaels gothics that I have.

 

That particular reread was with a specific purpose: I had started writing another contemporary romantic-suspense-with-ghosts and I wanted to get good handle on how Michaels had structured hers.  I already knew Ammie, Come Home had serious plot and detail problems.  Be Buried in the Rain was written about twenty years later, so I was hoping she had improved her technique.

 

Be Buried in the Rain was also one of my favorites of the Michaels gothics, along with Houses of Stone and The Walker in Shadows.  Even though I read all three books last year, I still had some issues with both Houses and Be Buried.  So although I'm already involved in several other reading projects, this afternoon I picked up the latter to see if I could finally figure out the solution to my problem with it . . . or accept that maybe Michaels had left a major thread dangling.

 

And I think I did it.  In the process, I gained a grand new respect for the writer Michaels/Mertz/Peters became after the almost laughable errors in Ammie.

 

No spoiler posted here, and maybe everyone else who has read Be Buried in the Rain picked up on this detail the first time through and I'm just the dullard who missed it until the (at least) fourth read.  But I feel more confident tonight about my own writing. 

 

And now, back to my own ghosts!

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review 2018-05-31 04:27
The Broken Girls...
The Broken Girls - Simone St. James

After I fell in love with The Haunting of Maddy Clare several years ago, I read all of St. James books. I just love her stories and I was really excited and so looking forward to this!

 

Which is why it really pains me to say The Broken Girls just didn't do very much for me. Maybe my expectations were just too high, but it really felt like the plot, the suspense and the paranormal/haunting aspect, were all toned down; very mild and mediocre in comparison to her other books.

 

I'll always be a fan but I hope she ups the ante with her next book.

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review 2018-05-16 02:04
Danger at Dahlkari
Danger at Dahlkari - Edwina Marlow

This was sooooo good! It reminded me so much of some of Mary Stewart's stories. I've been looking for an author with a similar style for a while now and I finally found one! : ) I can't wait to read some of Marlow's other books. The author writes under a million pen names so I should have plenty to choose from. Lol

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