cover image This House is Haunted

This House is Haunted

John Boyne, read by Alison Larkin. Tantor Media, unabridged, seven CDs, 9 hrs., $42.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-1742-8

In Boyne’s thriller, 19th-century England is infused with the supernatural. Narrator Larkin—born in America but raised in England—effectively captures Boyne’s characters, particularly the manner in which both class and gender shape daily life. In giving voice to protagonist Eliza Caine—an unmarried, young schoolteacher who becomes a governess to a wealthy rural family shrouded in mystery—she ably conveys the character’s stoic practicality and idealistic yearning for social acceptance and economic freedom. Larkin also does a masterful job rendering the male voices, especially prominent village figures such as the barrister and clergyman, both steeped in the male privilege of the era. Yet, the most memorable aspect of Larkin’s performance is her eerie portrayal of the two young children at the center of the otherworldly forces that Eliza encounters. An Other Press paperback. (Oct.)