Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Florence and Giles |John Harding

What a little gem! This is a very well crafted little tale which is classified as a thriller but is more of a shiverer!I haven't read much in the Gothic genre but this one is well worth while even if you are not a Goth fan. As i read I got a creepy feeling that things are not as they seem. almost like i was seeing something out of the corner of my eye but when I stared hard, I couldn't see what it was. Fleeting glimpses, creaking doors, wind whistling through long dark corridors...That kind of thing! And very cleverly written.

 The story is told by Florence. She lives in a derelict mansion with a few servants and her brother Giles. Her parents are dead and her guardian uncle does not believe in educating women. Florence discoves the library and teaches herself to read in secret and her world is transformed. So far so good… 
Giles is sent to boarding school and this gives Florence a lot to worry about. It’s about now we start wondering about her credibility as narrator and quite frankly, about her mental state!
She’s very bright, she’s mostly alone and has a great imagination. Then there’s the issue of the drowned governess and the return of Giles, who is unable to cope any more away from Florence. Then a new governess arrives and things unravel very quickly.
We are filled with doubts and start getting a very uneasy feeling about Florence as she descends in to a manic-type state of mind… Utterly captivating and well worth reading as this is such a well crafted novel.
John Harding is a proven storyteller who is worth reading. One Big damn puzzler is another good example of his work.

Florence and Giles
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