A Good House for Children
'In her beautifully written debut, Kate Collins gives the haunted house novel a refreshing renovation, while retaining a deliciously chilling atmosphere that fans of Shirley Jackson will love. I was entranced' Francine Toon, author of Pine
The perfect place to destroy a family...
The Reeve stands on the edge of the Dorset cliffs, awaiting its next inhabitants. Despite Orla's misgivings, her husband insists this house will be the perfect place to raise their two children.
In 1976, Lydia moves to Dorset as a nanny for a family grieving their patriarch. She soon starts to hear and feel things that cannot be real, but her bereaved employer does not listen when Lydia tells her something is wrong.
Separated by forty years, both Lydia and Orla realise that the longer they stay at the Reeve, the more deadly certain their need to keep the children safe from whatever lurks inside it...
Nothing is quite what it seems at the Reeve, and with its pervasive atmosphere of claustrophobia and dread, Kate Collins' gothic creation will chill you to the core.
Collins draws on the folk horror trend for her twisty gothic debut about a haunted house in England. The story develops from two parallel plot threads, both centered on the Reeve, a sprawling 19th-century mansion on the Dorset coast, feared by locals due to a history of children drowning in a pond on the property. In 1976, Londoner and recent widow Sara Robinson moves to the Reeve with her four kids and their nanny, Lydia. Four decades later, artist Orla McGrath and her husband Nick move from Bristol to the Reeve with their two young children, hoping the change of scenery will help break their young son Sam out of his voluntary mutism. Members of both households experience the Reeve as a prototypical creepy old house—they hear disembodied voices and footsteps and glimpse spectral figures. In both timelines, the story builds to a traditional Midsummer celebration, which a local woman tells Lydia is meant to placate mean fairies, ones who "curdle the milk, steal the children." It's here that Collins suggests who's haunting the house and why. Along the way, she skillfully laces her narrative with clues that suggest the events unfolding are not as straightforward—or linear—as they seem. This one is sure to connect with fans of the weird and macabre.