Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

Young 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.

The first time I heard about The House of Dead Maids, I was excited because it is a prelude to Wuthering Heights. I absolutely loved Wuthering Heights. In fact, it is one of my favorite books, so when I found out about The House of Dead Maids, I was curious to read a story about Heathcliff before he became THE Heathcliff.

If you want to get into the Halloween spirit and read a truly, creepy book, this is the book for you. The story will give you the chills. It is that good. I loved the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. They contributed to the story as a whole, which was great. Some of the pictures were indeed spooky.

If I could give any warning for this book it would be to not read it at night. The ghosts in this book will freak you out. Particularly the ghost sleeping in Tabby's bed to the descriptions of their faces. I still get the chills thinking about it. If you want to get freaked out, by all means read it in the middle of the night.

Besides the creepy aspect (which I did enjoy), this book is spectacular. I loved getting to know Heathcliff as a little boy. Sure, he is a huge brat at times, but he has a sweet side. The main character, Tabby, is a strong girl. I loved that she actually had some brains in her head and how given the situation she was in, she still took care of Heathcliff even though he was not the best mannered boy.

The House of Dead Maids is an amazing prelude to Wuthering Heights. It was interesting from the beginning to end with plenty of scary moments. It is a short book (at 146 pages), and fans of Wuthering Heights will definitely enjoy it.

Rating: 4/5

Swords are for fighting,


  1. Thats cool that it is a prelude to Withering Heights! I didn't consider this book before but I may do so now!