Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

GoodReads Description:
Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage little creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, as Tabby soon discovers. The ghost of the last maid will not leave Tabby in peace, yet this spirit is only one of many. Why do scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House with a jealous devotion that extends beyond the grave? As Tabby struggles to escape the evil forces rising out of the land, she watches her young charge choose a different path. He is determined to keep Seldom House as his own. Though Tabby tries to befriend the uncouth urchin, her kindness cannot alter his fate. Long before he reaches the old farmhouse of Wuthering Heights, the boy who will become Heathcliff has doomed himself and any who try to befriend him.

My Review:
The House of Dead Maids was a random library find for me. I mean...just look at that cover! Definitely something that caught my eye and gave me a chill, even in that brightly lit stack of book shelves.

To be honest, I didn't even know it was a prelude to Wurthering Heights until the very end when the "rogue" takes on the name Heathcliff, though if I would have read the acknowledgement page at the beginning I would have found that out. The novel was chilling and creepy, detailed and morose. It wasn't the most exciting story, or the most interesting, but it had a relatively good degree of depth.The end had the most interest as a lot of action was packed into the last chapters as we find out the mystery of Seldom House and the two main characters deal with the surrounding village...It was a quick read, despite how slow the plot moved. The book was made up of only about 100 pages and it was about 3/4 the size of a regular book, so there really wasn't a lot there for me. Though it was rather slow, I still really enjoyed the plot. It was original and really interesting once you actually got into the story. If the chain of events would have flowed a little better and had a little more action, it would have been fantastic

The characters weren't very well fleshed out or well illustrated. There was virtually no physical description other than clothing and stature. Tabby, the main character is confusing and kind of thick.She makes irrational decisions and can be really vague and boring at times.  Almost all of the characters in the book fall flat in both depth and description. Rogue (later Heathcliff) at least has a personality, though it is annoying and exasperating, and he is the only character to feel like an actual person.

Overall, it wasn't a bad book or anything. House of Dead Maids fell short in quite a few categories, but not short enough to make me hate it. I just won't be reading it over again. It did make me finally want to pick up Wuthering Heights though. My recommendation is to go to the library and check this out or borrow from a friend, especially if you are a Bronte family fan. I give it 2.5 stars out of 5.




  1. Great review! Very honest. The cover is so creepy I probably would have picked it up in the library too!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. ooo, that cover is super creepy. i have to say this one is going to stay where it is, on someone else's shelf!

  3. The cover creeps me out! >,> but I did enjoy your review, might have to check this one out.

  4. Creepy cover. Sounds kinda interesting enough for me to give it look see.