Friday, 2 August 2013

Review: The Poisoned House

The Poisoned House
Publication Date: 2010        
Source : Received print copy via Bloomsbury Publishing & Readgig (In exchange for an honest review. Thank you!)
Life can be cruel for a servant girl in 1850s London. Fifteen-year-old Abi is a scullery maid in Greave Hall, an elegant but troubled household. The widowed master of the house is slowly slipping into madness, and the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs. Cotton, punishes Abi without mercy. But there's something else going on in Greave Hall, too. An otherworldly presence is making itself known, and a deadly secret will reveal itself--a secret that will shatter everything Abi knows.

The year is 1856 and Abigail Tamper has had enough. Mrs Cotton, the housekeeper, though the house doesn't belong to her, but her sister- who died years before, and her husband, Lord Greaves Mrs Cotton likes to think it's her right to push the staff how she likes, and takes a particular shine to Abi, unfortunate for her. She picks on Abigail like no other, she doesn't give the poor girl a break, and God forbid anything goes wrong because Abi get's the end of it.
Beatings, she even takes poor Abi's wages. With no money, with nowhere to go, and still mourning her mother's death a year before, she decides to escape Greave Hall. Caught trying to escape she has no choice she's forced back to Greave Hall, and trapped back into Mrs Cotton's games. Once unexplainable things start happening that can't be explained away, Mrs. Cotton cruelty hit an all time low. Abigail's only relief, the return of childhood friend and their Masters' son, Samuel, who has been seriously injured while fighting in the who is badly wounded Crimean War. Secrets start leaking from the household the minute she figures out her mother was murdered. Abi can no longer deny it. A ghost haunts Greave Hall.
Her mothers.
I've never read something like The Poisoned House before, I've read a few historical fiction, of course, but to not this degree. Though supposedly  a ghost story, it is not frightening at all, because the ghost so to say, is friendly and protective. It's not  as scary story but some scenes are chilling, just not the ghost parts. What was chilling was the scenes with Mrs Cotton, she's a right witch, so heartlessly cruel to because of a secret Abigail knew nothing about. I liked the determination in Abi to get the truth, even if the truth was more horrible than she could imagine, but I also disliked her for her lack of backbone. She doesn't stand up for herself, and is treated like an expendable doormat. She had no protection at all when it came to Mrs. Cotton, the others, Cook, Lizzy, Rob, they knew what Mrs. Cotton was doing and they turned their heads. I guess that's what irked me most of The Poisoned House. I loved the conclusion, it's kind of bittersweet, but all loose ends were tied up, and you got your questions answered.
Rating: 3.5/5
Even though I did like it, and the chapters were quick, the story was too slow to get going and then it rushed to the end.

Check out the review on Readgig soon!