A sinister Gothic tale in the tradition of The Woman in Black and The Fall of the House of Usher 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 she can turn to for help, Florence must use all her intelligence and ingenuity to protect both her little brother and preserve her private world. Inspired by and in the tradition of Henry James' 'Turn of the Screw', 'Florence and Giles' is a gripping gothic page-turner told in a startlingly different and wonderfully captivating narrative voice.
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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.Review:
'Plentiful mysteries and good old-fashioned shocks punctuate this pacy and satisfyingly twisting coda' DAILY MAIL Praise for Florence and Giles: 'A darkly glamorous tour de force' DAILY MAIL 'Harding rings enough ingenious changes on James's study of perversity to produce his own full-blown Gothic horror tale' INDEPENDENT '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' THE TIMES
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