For fans of Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, and Edward Gorey, a beguiling and disarming debut novel from an award-winning British author about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor - and the startling revelations their behavior evokes.
In a sprawling estate, willfully secluded, lives Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins. Morgan spends his days in quiet study, avoiding his reflection in mirrors and the lake at the end of his garden. One day, two children, Moira and David, appear. Morgan takes them in, giving them free reign of the mansion he shares with his housekeeper Engel. Then more children begin to show up.
Dr. Crane, the town physician and Morgan's lone tether to the outside world, is as taken with the children as Morgan, and begins to spend more time in Morgan's library. But the children behave strangely. They show a prescient understanding of Morgan's past, and their bizarre discoveries in the mansion attics grow increasingly disturbing. Every day the children seem to disappear into the hidden rooms of the estate, and perhaps, into the hidden corners of Morgan's mind.
The Children's Home is a genre-defying, utterly bewitching masterwork, an inversion of modern fairy tales like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass, in which children visit faraway lands to accomplish elusive tasks. Lambert writes from the perspective of the visited, weaving elements of psychological suspense, Jamesian stream of consciousness, and neo-gothic horror, to reveal the inescapable effects of abandonment, isolation, and the grotesque - as well as the glimmers of goodness - buried deep within the soul.
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Not bad, but anticlimatic
The first half of the book was great, but then I lost interest. I liked the caring nature of Dr. Crane, and Morgan was an interesting character too. I enjoyed learning Morgan's history and finding out how he became the man that he is.
Sure. There was nothing overtly wrong with this book, it was just not really my cup of tea.
Todd Haberkorn did a wonder job as narrator! However, I think this book could have benefited more with a British narrator.
If anything it inspired me to write a review because thus far there is only one for this book.
If you like stories with creepy children, weird and wonderful characters, and a bizarre story line, then you might really enjoy this book. I personally love books that leave me feeling thoroughly disturbed, but I found this book to be rather tame, especially because I was expecting more. I'd classify this book more along the lines of a Gothic horror. Nonetheless, it's not bad but not the best thing I've read either.
what the heck did I just listen too?
- Forever Smiling Mama