Florence and Giles

by John Harding

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

Florence and Giles Synopsis

1891. In a remote and crumbling New England mansion, 12-year-old orphan Florence is neglected by her guardian uncle and banned from reading. Left to her own devices she devours books in secret and talks to herself - and narrates this, her story - in a unique language of her own invention. By night, she sleepwalks the corridors like one of the old house's many ghosts and is troubled by a recurrent dream in which a mysterious woman appears to threaten her younger brother Giles. Sometimes Florence doesn't sleepwalk at all, but simply pretends to so she can roam at will and search the house for clues to her own baffling past. After the sudden violent death of the children's first governess, a second teacher, Miss Taylor, arrives, and immediately strange phenomena begin to occur. Florence becomes convinced that the new governess is a vengeful and malevolent spirit who means to do Giles harm. Against this powerful supernatural enemy, and without any adult to whom she can turn for help, Florence must use all her intelligence and ingenuity to both protect her little brother and preserve her private world.

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Florence and Giles Press Reviews

'You don't need to know The Turn of the Screw to enjoy it. Real atmosphere is increasingly rare in novels and here it is in spades; mysterious towers, faces in mirrors, shadowy corridors and long black dresses. Like James, Harding keeps his dramatis personae tightly confined and ramps up the suspense and mystery until even the most careful reader wonders what's going on and what isn't. Your Twilight-reading teen will love it too. A darkly glamorous tour de force.'
Wendy Holden, DAILY MAIL

'Harding rings enough ingenious changes on James's study of perversity to produce his own full-blown Gothic horror tale. The climax of their struggle! is genuinely exciting and shocking. Florence's often very personal narrative does! powerfully and convincingly convey the vulnerablility of children faced with terror.'
THE INDEPENDENT

'Florence and Giles is an elegant literary exercise worked out with the strictness of a fugue: imagine Henry James's The Turn of the Screw reworked by Edgar Allan Poe!Nothing prepares you for the chillingly ruthless but inevitable finale.'
THE TIMES

'A tight gothic thriller! The climax becomes unbearably tense. Florence feels the horror of her situation cheese-grating her soul, which is just how Harding leaves the reader feeling at the end of this creepily suggestive story.'
FINANACIAL TIMES

'Brilliantly creepy'
DAILY MIRROR

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007315048
Publication date: 03/03/2011
Publisher: Blue Door an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007315048
Publication date: 3rd March 2011
Author: John Harding
Publisher: Blue Door an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About John Harding

John Harding was born near Ely. He is the author of the bestselling What We Did On Our Holiday, made into an ITV drama starring Shane Ritchie and Roger Lloyd Pack. He is a book reviewer for the Daily Mail and lives in London.

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