Young Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage little creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, as Tabby soon discovers. The ghost of the last maid will not leave Tabby in peace, yet this spirit is only one of many. Why do scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House with a jealous devotion that extends beyond the grave?
As Tabby struggles to
escape the evil forces rising out of the land, she watches her young
charge choose a different path. He is determined to keep Seldom House as
his own. Though Tabby tries to befriend the uncouth urchin, her
kindness cannot alter his fate. Long before he reaches the old farmhouse
of Wuthering Heights, the boy who will become Heathcliff has doomed
himself and any who try to befriend him.
(Add To Your Goodreads Shelf)
I first spotted The House of Dead Maids on a blogger's site - the eerie
maid staring right out you with her weird non-eyes is an image that's
hard to get out your head. I was further intrigued by the setting,
Yorkshire, where I live! The House of Dead Maids is a short, speedy read
that you can easily devour in one afternoon - in fact, it took me only
an hour. At less than 150 pages in large type, Clare B. Dunkle has
managed to pack an unusual, creepy, ghost story within it's pages
without making the story lose it's pace, while keeping me interested
with lots of twists and turns.
story keeps with the tradition of the stories it pays homage to - Jane
Eyre, Wuthering Heights, you know the ones. Usually involves creepy
houses, lots of fields and near death experiences near cliffs. Similar
to Jane Eyre, Dead Maids starts the tale with Tabby leaving her home to
employment unknown, which I'd gathered was probably a creepy house and
cliffs. I was correct. The great thing about short books is that they
get Right To The Point, and Tabby had barely been in Seldom House a day
before getting creeped upon by a ghost.
Being the naturally
curious heroine of the tale, we follow Tabby as she attempts to uncover
the house's mysteries whilst keeping her young charge occupied. Almost
all of the story is told from inside the house, with made it feel even
more gothic and stifling. Himself (Tabby's name, he has none), is
introduced fairly early on. He's a complete brat to be quite frank and
spends the entire time declaring himself to be 'Master of the House' and
decided the every object he can set his eyes upon is his. Still, he's
somewhat endearing in an odd way.
actually really enjoyed the ending. It reminded me of Mister Creecher,
except I didn't want to strangle the author at the end of it. I loved
the author notes too, they really tied the story up nicely.