Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The House of Dead Maids

Last night, I started and finished and ARC of The House of Dead Maids, by Clare Dunkle. And, um, WOW. The book releases on September 14th and is definitely something you want to read.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I read Wuthering Heights right before, to better acquaint myself with Heathcliff's story, and though I'm really glad I've finally read the book (Wuthering Heights is amazing and it shames me how long it took me to get around to reading it) it wasn't absolutely necessary to read beforehand.

Premise: So, basically, the book tells the story of Tabby, a girl brought to work as a maid at the mansion known as Seldom House. She's charged with taking care of a young boy (who grows up to become Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights) and discovers a world of ghosts and dark, dark superstitions. 

My absolute favorite thingThis book is deliciously scary. Starting it late at night was a MISTAKE! I kid you not: I slept with the lights on last night.  Dunkle's ghosts were described with such detail and so dark my skin crawled--there literally was one moment of description so vivid I had to put the book down and give in to a shiver.

Other thoughts: The cover is what drew me in to begin with. It's fantastically creepy--and it completely matches the scariness of the book.

It was interesting to read Heathcliff before he's officially Heathcliff, and I thought Dunkle did a really nice job of creating him to be believable with the character I know he grows into. 

It's a short book, which made it a really quick read. (Though I'm pretty sure I still would have read it in one sitting even if it'd been twice as long.) And the illustrations (by Patrick Arrasmith) in the ARC--and I'm assuming in the hard cover--flow right with the tone of the book and give visual to the terror you feel while reading.

Even thought the protagonist is 11, I'm not sure I agree that this book is suitable for readers ages 12 and up. At least, had I read it at age 12 I'd have had nightmares for weeks. Heck, I still probably will! Maybe most 12-year-olds are tougher than I was at that age though, which is highly likely...

I absolutely recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of Wuthering Heights--and even if you aren't. Bravo to Clare Dunkle, it's been a while since I read anything quite this spooky!

Ranking: 5 stars (out of 5)

Oh, and I found a book trailer for it on YouTube. If my review didn't convince you to read the book when it comes out, this thing probably will =)

♥ me


  1. Definitely sounds like I will have to do the same thing and read them back to back I have not read Weathering Heights either. Shame on me. Now I have something to aspire to. Thanks for the great post and great advice.

  2. wow this sounds spooky and awesome! i am adding it to my wish list!

  3. !! One, the cover creepies me out in the best way. Two, I adore Wuthering Heights. Three, WANT!

    Thanks for the review -- I hadn't heard of this book at all -- now it's on the TBR!

  4. This looks deliciously creepy!! I love the cover too!! Thanks for this review, I am definitely going to be reading this one :D

  5. Thanks for the review. I was hoping it would be a book to keep you up at night. It's also good to know I don't necessarily have to read Wuthering Heights first.

  6. I definitely want to read this book! It sounds so good. I loved Wuthering Heights, too.

  7. Oh I love when you give five out five. It's on my amazon list as of today! I'm excited to scare myself! :)

  8. Wow!!!!!!! That cover alone is enough to make me want to read it!

  9. Want this book so much, I LOVE Clare B. Dunkle :)

  10. Sounds great - except I'm a total wimp and would need to read it in the morning :)

  11. This book sounds great! And really creepy, which is perfect since Halloween is right about the corner. I'll have to check it out!

  12. I totally love Wuthering Heights, and this sounds amazingly creepy. I'm definitely checking it out!

  13. Can't wait to read this!! Even if it is scary. I loved Wuthering Heights, so it would be awesome to read a story that gave the mysterious Heathcliff a background! Great review!

  14. Dude. That cover is scary! *shudder*

    Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books of all time.


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)