Book Review: The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

unquiteThe Unquite House by Alison Littlewood

Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging.

It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.

And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?”

 

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sppokyAs the old song says “This old house once knew my children; This old house once knew my wife…” and Mire house, has a very long memory.

Emma barely has time to make a cup of tea before Charlie arrives. Charlie is a sort of relation and rival to the will that left Emma Mire house.

At the start you don’t know if Charlie is the good guy or not; but you do feel like something sinister is going on. It made me doubt if Charlie was gas lighting Emma to convince her she was “seeing things” or if there were really ghosts.

The book is divided up into a three-story thread: Emma’s in 2013, Frank’s in 1973 and Aggie’s 1939. Each of these strands are so fully fleshed out that they could stand on their own right as separate short stories. When the three stories are woven together they combine to give you a sense of tension and foreboding that surrounds Mire house.

The Unquiet House is a horror story with a sinister drum beat through out the book, creating a very dark atmosphere. It was an outstanding ending with an expected twist. You learn the mystery of why Emma was left the house and the significance of the Yew trees. It was a great psychological horror in the vein of the late great James Herbert.

As the stories went on and combined, you could see how ghosts are created and the misery that anchors them to a certain place or certain people. The Unquiet house was an exquisite story with some creepy memorable lines, such as “We all go silent in the end”.

I highly recommend this book and also recommend you read it with the lights on. Obviously you will be reading with the lights on…Oh, you know what I mean! lol

 

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