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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Seance by John Harwood


The Seance by John Harwood

I loved this book! Using a different style, Harwood writes a gothic thriller set in Victorian England. In six parts, Harwood writes with the voice of several main characters. Part I is told by young Constance Langton. As a child, her sister, Alma, died and her mother slipped into deep depression that never lifted. As a young adult, her father finally leaves them and Constance hopes taking her mother to a seance will give her some peace and bring her out of her depression. But the result is tragic and she's left alone. She meets a new uncle who is happy to have her live with him. Then she gets news that she has inherited Wraxford Hall and the solicitor who contacts her has a story to tell.

Harwood then starts Part II from the voice of the solicitor, John Montague. Part III is told from a third main character, Eleanor "Nell" Unwin. Part IV continues from Eleanor "Nell" Unwin Wraxford. Part V returns to John Montague and Part VI returns to Constance Langford. Told with the different voices made it different from most English gothic mysteries and I enjoyed it.

Wraxford Hall is an abandoned mansion in the English countryside with it's own tragic stories that make you shiver at night! I highly recommend this book, even teens! And I'm currently reading Harwood's first novel, The Ghost Writer, and I'm enjoying it too so far. The Ghost Writer won the 2004 International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel. Harwood was an English professor for 25 years and lives in Victor Harbor, South Australia.

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