Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jane Whitehead: The House on the Hill

I guess it was about that time: the time to run into a Gothic novel that is not so good. This novel was one I picked up at the secondhand bookstore, just to try the author out. It is a Magnum Bestseller Gothic, published in 1967. I couldn't easily find a cover photo, so I took one for this post. I had read some whispers on the Garnet Night blog (I can't find the exact entry now) about this brand of Gothic not always being of the best quality. If this novel is representative of the brand, that might be true. I hope not.

I gave The House on the Hill thirty pages, and I could not take it anymore. The characters were blank slates; the heroine was a non-entity who "almost fainted" twice in the first ten pages. No physical descriptions of the heroine, Nancy Robbins, were given at all. The narrator mentions that she up and leaves her job to investigate her sister's death, but no specifics about the job or the woman are given. The dialogue is wholly unbelievable and is peppered with drama.

I am not going to bother to rate this one. My advice: skip it. I will be trading this one back in on my next trip.


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