The House on Blackstone Moor
by Carole Gill
Plot Summary:The House on Blackstone Moor is a tale of vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship as Rose Baines, only survivor of her family’s carnage, tells her story. Fragile, damaged by the tragedy, fate sends her to a desolate house on the haunted moors where demons dwell. The house and the moors have hideous secrets, yet there is love too; deep, abiding, eternal, but it comes with a price.
Expectations:The author mentioned on twitter and various blog interviews that there was a Jane Eyre connection in this story, so I picked it up. That plus the promise of a Gothic tale was enough to hook me!
Review:This book is pretty crazy. Like take all Gothic elements - mysterious manor, gloom, blood, madness, depravities and mix them all together in a prose maelstrom of evil run amok. Because it's so crazy, it kind of reminded me of The Monk, a novel that I have always found to be one of the more outlandish Gothic novels, and quite enjoyable because of it. The House on Blackstone Moor lacks some of the depth of The Monk though, and a clear message that there is some reason to all the madness. But this novel is still so very entertaining. Jane Eyre may have provided a basic backbone to the structure of this novel - in addition to the characters named Grace Poole and Helen (now both members of Marsh Asylum) - but I didn’t feel there was a strong narrative connection between Jane Eyre and this novel. The main character Rose, has had a terrible childhood and has had to witness the aftermath of the murder-suicide her father committed on her mother and siblings. It’s no wonder she has ended up in an asylum, with fragile tender nerves. She finds a position as governess at Blackstone House where there are many sinister secrets. Followed by horrific occurrences. And yet more sinister secrets. And horror. And then some demons. It’s kind of relentless, and definitely makes for an engaging page turner.
The romance between Rose and Louis is a tad underdeveloped - innocent beauty and masculine melancholy seem to mean instant love and very little modesty, but the romance is more of a vehicle to facilitate Rose’s struggles against the evil forces that have become a part of her life. This novel is a highly entertaining dark tale with an endless procession of surprising revelations, ghosts, demons and vampires.
Fifth book of ten in the 2012 Books of Eyre Reading Challenge