I like it when it rains on a weekend that I don’t have any outside plans. This weekend, I curled up in my comfy chair and read Blackbriar. (Originally I opened up my blinds, too, so that I could see the rain, but there was THE HUGEST BUG EVER on the outside of my window, seriously, it was as big as a grown hummingbird, and it wouldn’t go away when I rapped on the window, so I closed the blinds again and just enjoyed the sounds of the rain.) Ella was right. It is indeed extremely Gothic.
Fifteen-year-old Danny and his informal guardian Philippa move out to the country, to a remote old house. The people in the village are very weird about the house, for reasons they won’t explain, and it is indeed a mysterious house: there are names and dates carved into one of the doors; the cat, Islington, keeps acting strange; someone comes asking for Mary Peachy, whose name is carved into the door along with other names from four hundred years ago. Oh, and – eek! – Danny and Philippa keep coming home to find that somebody has lit a fire in the house while they were gone. Danny makes friends with a local artist’s daughter, Lark, and they all become set on solving the mystery.
I wish I’d read this years ago! It was such an enjoyable read. I love the image of the names and dates carved into the door. But just generally I like Gothic novels. I read Elizabeth Peters’s The Camelot Caper, which is a spoof of Gothic novels, before I read very many actual Gothic novels, and I always think of it when people are in remote, spooky houses in books. I am always in the mood for a good Gothic novel. Northanger Abbey really charms me, and I love Daphne du Maurier also.
Thanks for this, Ella!
Anyone have a favorite Gothic novel they want to recommend me? Or another William Sleator book I shouldn’t live my life without reading?