This period thriller is from 1898 and is about a governess who is hired by a man to care for his niece and nephew. The governess begins the job with excitement, but soon experiences disturbing events and believes ghosts of deceased employees are coming for the kids.
This novella was adapted from serial installments in the magazine Collier’s Weekly. It was interesting to read a ghost story from over 100 years ago and see how similar it is to modern-day ghost stories, but in a Victorian setting. Having said that, it took quite a bit of concentration for me to stay focused on the plot. As can be expected, the language was antiquated and at times difficult to follow, especially during the more narrative parts, as opposed to parts with dialogue.
There is enough ambiguity to the story to guide the reader to multiple conclusions. Ultimately, we read about a bad situation made worse, but what makes it worse can be argued. Is it ghosts? A trick of the mind? Abnormal biology? Whatever it is, events unfold much as they would when something, already over-tightened, experiences one more turn of the screw.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of ghost and horror stories out there that will leave you at lot more scared and interested than this one. But if you have a thing for Victorian culture and old-fashioned writing, maybe pick this one up.
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