I am pretty sure ghosts don’t get enough love any more, especially the kind that haunts, not the kind you pseudo-make out with. Y’all, when the readathon rolled around, I was totally down for a few hours with a middle grade ghost story, because I knew there would be no kissy faces, just thrills and chills. The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade is a suitably creepy read, with mild flirtation but some totally goose bump inducing scenes — particularly if you are creeped out by dolls. And frankly, I’ll admit, dolls are kind of creepy now that I am an old.
Set in England, Hannah’s family must move out of their house because of a damaged foundation. Apparently the house is unlivable until it gets repaired. They end up moving into Cowleigh Lodge, a place that hasn’t really been inhabited for awhile, but the rent is definitely a steal. Hannah comes across an old book of fairy tales in her room, belonging to a girl named Maisie who died 140 years ago at the age of eleven. It is up to Hannah to discover the circumstances surrounding Maisie’s death in order to get Maisie to stop haunting her and The Whispering House.
Hannah is an awesome main character. I mean, she’s not exactly a loud, in your face character. However, she’s subtle. She uses her intellect to triumph, rather than brute strength. I love that she uses logic to get through her sleuthing. Plus, she keeps such a calm head during moments that would probably have me panicking. AND GET THIS, she has a great relationship with her parents, but maybe that’s common in middle grade? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s refreshing to see characters who don’t have those dysfunctional relationships. Also? There’s sort of a potential for romance in The Whispering House and I was like come on just kiss or something pleaseeeee and then I was like, oh yeah this is middle grade and that’s not bloody likely. Still, I liked Hannah’s characterization because it was different from the typical BAMF girl that I read about.
Honestly, I didn’t find The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade to be all that terrifying. I mean sure, it was good. There were moments where I was like, yes that’s kind of creepy. However, it takes either zombies or a whole lot to scare me. Plus, I read this in the light of day during a readathon. Thus, it wasn’t really a super huge deal. I think the target audience, actual middle grade children, might get a little bit nervous while reading, BUT given all the violence and gore and parents who are totally cool with their kids watching rated R movies at young ages, there’s not much here to give a kid nightmares. Yet, this is still a fun, slightly chilling Halloween or fall read.
If you’re looking for a seasonal read, but are kind of a chicken and can’t handle legit Stephen King style horror, then I think that The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade will be right up your alley. It’s got a good back story, interesting characters, ghosts, creepy dolls, friendships AND decent family relationships. The writing flows rather well and is free of purple prose. I quite enjoyed the brief amount of time I spent reading The Whispering House and think that middle graders will enjoy this book too.
Disclosure: Received For Review
Other reviews of The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade:
Charlotte’s Library – “I was so utterly engrossed by the ghostly shenanigans”
The Bookish Babes – “I will recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery books”
Birth Of A New Witch – “a fun little mystery – light, fluffy, and an easy read”