Published September 25th 2012 by HarperTeen
A dark house.
An isolated island.
and even stranger
visions . . .
Jack is spending the summer on a private island far from modern conveniences. No Wi-Fi, no cell service, no one else on the island but a housekeeper and the two very peculiar children in his care. The first time Jack sees the huge black mansion atop a windswept hill, he senses something cold, something more sinister than even the dark house itself.
Soon, he feels terribly isolated and alone. Yet he is not alone. The house has visitors—peering in the windows, staring from across the shore. But why doesn’t anyone else see them . . . and what do they want? As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn’t crazy. . . . Or is he?
From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes a mind-bending story that will leave you realizing how subtle the lines that separate reality, imagination, and insanity really are. (Goodreads)
With my failure during last Halloween/October to find a book that was enough of a thriller I picked this up on a whim from Book Outlet. The plan was to save it for this Halloween/October but I was in a slump this month so wanted a quick read. With only 246 pages it was a quick read. I think I read it in one or two nights. The synopsis sounds intriguing enough, and the layout (a series of letters) made me want to pick it up. Sadly, this book was a huge disappointment. I know it was written with a younger audience in mind, but it’s safe to say this book wasn’t good. The characters were undeveloped. It wasn’t scary. The only thing going for the book was the setting. The idea of Jack spending the majority of the book on an island with just one house was cool. As much as I was on the edge of my seat wanting something to happen it never did. Instead I got another disappointing “horror”, that I can’t recommend.
Characters-1 Setting-4 Plot-1 Conflict-1 Resolution-1
Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman’s Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.