Book to Order: The House in Norham Gardens

The House in Norham Gardens book cover

I read about this title in The Ultimate Teen Book Guide tonight. I really enjoy books that center on old houses with secrets.  I also enjoy stories that feature aunts as main characters.  If the novel features a girl on the cusp of womanhood, hinting at ghostly secrets she alone discovers by chance in attics, count me in!  This one seems to have it all with a groovy 1970s kind of trapped-in-time setting thrown in to make it irresitable.  It was first published in 1974 and is in reprint, with customer reviews that rave about Lively’s ability to connect the present to the past in her stories.  YA author Adele Geras writes,

“Penelope Lively’s speciality, both in her books for adults and in those for children, is to describe how the past affects the present and how the people in the present deal with such things as memory and history.  In this beautifully written and moving novel, Claire goes to live with two ageing aunts in the house of the title.  The aunts are described so well that you feel you know them as intimately as Claire does, and if ever a book showed how powerful and intelligent old ladies can be, this is it…This is a ghost story of sorts, and a wonderful addition to the literature of growing up and finding out about who you are and how your life follows on from the lives of those who came before you (Almond 177).”

Stay tuned for a review once I’ve read it…

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