This month’s Blogger Book Nook post is a little late, just because I read my book choice over Halloween night and into November. The theme was, of course, all things spooky. First up with the questions, then I will tell you all about the ghost story which I read.
Q1) Has a book ever scared you silly? If so, which one was it and would you recommend it?
No, but this is because I wouldn’t read anything that would scare me silly! However, the original Sherlock Holmes stories definitely give me a chill; some of the cases are quite gruesome, and Sherlock’s drug addiction is explicit.
Q2) Who is the most terrifying character you’ve ever come across?
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights scares me! He’s so unpredictable, angry and unbelievably cruel to his wife and child. Isabella falls in love with him, certain that she can reform him – but she can’t, and her life is torn apart.
Q3) Zombies, ghosts, or vampires – which are your favourites to read about?
Definitely ghosts! I have no interest in zombies or vampires, sorry! At the moment I can’t get enough of ghost stories.
Q4) Do you find horror movies or books scarier? Why?
I will say horror movies, I haven’t watched any for years because when I did, they gave me nightmares… Hey, I never said I wasn’t a scaredy cat!
Q5) What scary books would you recommend to someone new to the genre?
I’m afraid I don’t have any recommendations as I’m so new to the genre myself. However, I do have a book review!
The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne was my pick for October’s spooktacular theme. Billed as a ghost story, a thriller and an exploration of love and loss, how could I refuse?
Eleanor and Richard have just moved into their new home, but their lives are not as perfect as they seem. The house is Richard’s dream, not Eleanor’s, and they spend their time at home avoiding the lodger (Zoe) whose help they need to pay the bills. It’s not long before Eleanor has unexplained vomiting and headaches, and Zoe is having night terrors….
I was completely gripped by this novel from the very first page, and I had a very satisfying Halloween with it on the sofa! We learn far more about the characters than I thought we would; how Richard and Eleanor met and married and took their respective career paths. Also I wasn’t expecting so much focus on Zoe, the lodger, but I’m glad that there was. She was the most interesting character by far. It felt at times that not much was happening, but the writing style kept me involved.
As for the spookiness… It’s quite a slow burn, but that just adds to the tension. You never know what’s going to happen next. Eleanor’s illness is getting worse, and Zoe is avoiding being in the house, as the supernatural elements become stronger. If you want a ghost floating through the walls, this book isn’t for you. However, if you like to be kept guessing, I’d definitely recommend this novel.
Which ghost story should I read next?