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Florence and Giles

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,214 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Blue Door (first published January 1st 2010)
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Wendle The idea was it was her made up language (she never uses it out loud, in front of others, you might notice). She knows exactly what she's doing--she…moreThe idea was it was her made up language (she never uses it out loud, in front of others, you might notice). She knows exactly what she's doing--she understands grammar perfectly well, but is choosing to turn these nouns and adjectives into verbs. She notes Shakespeare, and that when there wasn't a word for something he just made one up, and says that she does the same.

That said, the Florence-isms (as i call them) were hugely hit and miss for me. Some i thought were wonderful and fun, others just awkward.(less)
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Florence and Giles?

Now doesn’t that sound like Flora and Miles?

Is it a coincidence, or are the two pairs of names connected?

Well no, it isn’t a coincidence. And yes, the names are connected. But not as you may think.

If one is a true story then the other would be a variation on that story far from the truth as it has been told, misheard, distorted, embellished so many times.

Or, I like to think, neither is a whole truth. Both are distortions of another story that has never been told.

John Harding’s
I gave up smoking on 8th December 2008 and I must admit that I occasionally miss that nicotine kick but every now and then a great book comes along which replicates that surge to the brain! Indeed, Florence and Giles is such a book - I heard about it by chance via Twitter, saw the cover, heard the words gothic, Henry James, Poe and I was off like a shot.

Imagine, if you will, an old mansion in New England. It is 1891 and Blithe House's sole inhabitants are young orphans, 12 year old Florence and
Essie Fox
Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this clever, chilling gothic novel narrated by the uniquely voiced 12 year old Florence.

Many links to The Turn of the Screw, Poe, Wilkie Collins and other classics of the genre - but Harding still manages to create something 'all its own'.

This is enchanting and humorous with wonderfully drawn characters. But, ultimately, it is a very disturbing novel with a ghastly 'turn of the screw'.
Florence é inteligente, solitária e amante de livros. Giles, seu meio-irmão, é ingénuo, influenciável e muito imaturo. Estas duas crianças estão sozinhas, praticamente abandonadas à sua sorte e cuidadas por criados que pouco conhecem a história da sua família.
A única ordem que os criados têm é de não ensinar Florence a ler, pedido esse feito pelo seu tutor, um tio que a criança nunca conheceu.
No entanto, a curiosidade da jovem Florence pelo conhecimento leva-a a descobrir a biblioteca existente
Florence and Giles are two orphans who live at Blithe House, their absent guardian’s mansion. After the untimely death of their governess, another teacher, Miss Taylor, arrives and strange things begin to happen, but only Florence seems aware of these events. The girl starts to think that Miss Taylor is not a real governess and that she arrived at their house with a clear plan in her mind: to kidnap Giles and leave with him. Can a twelve-year-old girl save his brother without the help of anybody ...more
Sinceramente, cosa c'è di peggio di un libro brutto? Semplice, un bel libro rovinato dall'inettitudine dell'autore e da una campagna pubblicitaria completamente forviante.

In genere, nelle recensioni, parto sempre dall'analisi del testo/trama per poi passare a copertina, prezzo e tutti gli altri elementi puramente fisici e collaterali. In questo caso, diversamente, partirò dall'esterno del romanzo per poi addentrarmi nella trama affinchè possiate comprendere perché giudico questo romanzo compless
A very intriguing and chilling novel! This is totally new to me and I love every part of it.

While reading this, a lot of questions nagged me at the back of my mind which leads to many disturbing speculations. At first I really thought that Florence's actions and reactions towards all the events around her are purely driven by her protective instinct for her little brother. However, her overprotectiveness has a suspicious edge to it up until a point where I have already doubted her true intenti
New England, 1891. Gli orfani Florence e Giles, dodici e dieci anni, fratelli da parte di padre, vivono con la servitù nella grande tenuta di campagna dello zio, sempre assente per affari. Trascurati da tutti, i due bambini crescono nel modo più diverso. Florence si abbandona al piacere proibito della lettura (lo zio non ritiene opportuno che una ragazza riceva un’istruzione), mentre Giles gioca tutto il giorno da solo, privo di stimoli di alcun tipo. Tutto procede normalmente, fino all’arrivo d ...more
Martin Belcher
Florence and Giles is a very old fashioned chilling tale in the style of "The Turn of the Screw". Our setting is Blithe, a large house in New England during the last years of the 19th Century, Florence and her step brother Giles live at Blithe along with Mrs Grouse, the Housekeeper and the house staff, Mary, John and Meg. Orphaned at an early age, Florence and Giles are neglected by their guardian Uncle, who spends most of his time in New York City. Florence is forbidden to read and instead enco ...more
Blablabla Aleatório
Quando li sobre este livro a primeira vez, devido ao título do mesmo, pensei que o foco da história seria na relação de Florence, a protagonista, com os livros… mas, é como digo, as traduções dos títulos muitaz vezes deixam a desejar e podem nos levar à conclusões errôneas. Qual a lógica em traduzir o título original Florence and Giles para A Menina Que Não Sabia Ler? Sim, há a relação de Florence com os livros e isso de certa forma influencia a história, mas mais do que isso o livro é um romanc ...more
This was my hallowe'en read for the year, and I did get rather excited at the prospect of a 'Poe' meets 'The Turn of the Screw', but it really wasn't to be. While the concept is firmly rooted in the Gothic tradition (thanks to it being almost a re-write of the illustrious, aforementioned title by Henry James) it really does lack in the 'scare factor' that it so promises on the back cover.

This is the story of Florence and Giles, two orphaned children living with their estranged uncle in a vast,
I loved this book! It was fast-paced, suspenseful and definitely creepy. I was holding my breath along with Florence at times!

Florence had such a unique style of narration. At first I did think that it was a little annoying/confusing, but after awhile I got into it; it didn't bother me at all, and I could easily understand what she was talking about.

I loved the way that Florence handled things on her own, there were no adults around that she could totally rely on (or convince to believe her stor
2.5 stars There were some chilling moments in this one but what was really disappointing for me was the fact that it was clear from pretty much early on what was going on and who was to blame. There was not any ambiguity as was the case with the turning of the screw. Being so the climax was not "genuily exciting and shocking". On the other hand I have to acknoweldge the fact that the book has in deed great atmosphere. Also I liked the unique language Florence used (she is self-taught) and I thin ...more
Review of ‘Florence & Giles’ by John Harding

Read April 2015

I just love a good old-fashioned, hair gripping, prickles on the back of your neck, Gothic thriller! And, this gem by John Harding certainly delivers.

We begin in a great old mansion in New England in 1891. Twelve year old Florence and her little brother, Giles, live in complete isolation here with just a few loyal servants to care for the children. Their parents died years before, and the children are being ‘raised’ (I use that word
Laura C.
Lo ammetto: mea culpa. Avevo letto dei giudizi poco incoraggianti su questo libro, ma dopo averlo visto in biblioteca (e non avere nient’altro da leggere) ho pensato di provare lo stesso. Non si mai. Grosso errore. L’avventura (mia, nel leggerlo) era già iniziata male notando tutti quei neologismi strampalati che alla lunga irritano non poco. Fino alla metà del libro la storia si trascina lenta, e non si capisce dove l’autore voglia andare a parare. Arrivati alla fine si capisce che, effettivame ...more
La prima reazione appena finito il libro è stata: "MAH". La seconda pure.
credo che John Harding abbia le idee un tantino confuse, perché sinceramente non saprei come definire il romanzo: narrativa? (no, ci sono elementi paranormali); paranormale? (no, sono elementi troppo deboli e mal sviluppati); giallo? (nì, ma anche qui è piuttosto debole).
Insomma, un gran miscuglio di tanti elementi ma sviluppati in maniera veramente carente.. Ad un certo punto non sapevo più dove volesse andare a parare!
Zoe Mitchell
This is a wonderful book – as traditional ghost stories are increasing in popularity again, it brings something new and fresh to the genre. The period detail is vivid, and the characters in the story are really brought to life so that you feel their every fear.
The story is narrated by Florence, who is self-educated and as a result has her own singular use of language which gives the book a beautiful flow. From day to day details to the heights of tension, the language employed gives the book an
Nesa Sivagnanam
The narrator is 12-year-old Florence. At the start of the novel, Florence lives a life of solitary contentment. Her brother is away at school, her guardian is in New York, and there is an indulgent housekeeper, Mrs Grouse. Florence spends most of her time in the library or an abandoned tower of the house where she creates her own small and secure world. Her only friend is Theo Van Hoosier, a boy from a nearby estate.

This world is threatened when Giles returns home and a new governess, Miss Taylo
Nicole Lundrigan
I absolutely loved this book. As I was reading, I often just stopped to marvel at the creativity of the author. I’ve never read anything quite like this. The story has an Edgar Allan Poe vibe, which is right up my alley, and there was a subtle creepiness from the first chapter onwards. I read the bulk of it on a flight to Vancouver, and I barely looked up. If you’re a fan of EAP, and want to experience an entirely unique voice in young Florence, you have to read this book.
Alexandra (AlexEatsBooks)
Quite possibly one of the most fascinating reads I have encountered in a long while. So full of intrigue and suspense, one really has no idea where the story is going until it is already there! Florence's voice is so unique with her own language - at first I thought it might be distracting, but found myself slipping into it effortlessly. Overall - an amazing read!
Andrea Russo
Appena lessi il titolo me ne innamorai subito. Mi bastò quello per decidermi a comprarlo, ma quando lessi la trama sul risvolto di copertina me ne convinsi ancora di più.
Già dall'inizio mi è subito parso evidente qualche collegamento col Giro di vite di Henry James, e a mano a mano che andavo avanti nella lettura le somiglianze aumentavano: da Flora e Miles passiamo adesso a Florence e Giles (e già qui, non può essere un caso...), la casa da Bly diventa Blithe, ed è – si dice – la dimora perfet
Vanessa Montês

A personalidade de Florence é o que torna o livro o que é. De criança forte e determinada a louca e delirante, é uma personagem com características muito diferentes e vincadas, acabando por ser ela que traz todo o mistério e suspense para a história.

Um livro que apesar de se ter tornado tão estranho ao longo da narrativa me conseguiu prender do início ao fim e cuja escrita fluída permite uma leitura rápida e até mesmo viciante.

Opinião completa em
Grace Harwood
I really enjoyed this dark Gothic tale narrated idiosyncratically by Florence. Florence is a child who has been purposely left illiterate and has taught herself to read. She adores books and especially Shakespeare, who she admires for his inventiveness with (and of) words. Mimicking him, she "Shakespeares" her own words, creating a unique way of narrating her story. The story concerns herself, but mainly Giles, her younger half-brother who she feels she must protect. After experiencing a number ...more





Non ha senso!!

Ok allora per chi non avesse letto questo libro è la storia di Florence, la quale ha un fratellastro, Giles.
Alla fine del libro si fa luce sul passato poco chiaro dei due? NO.
Dopo la morte della prima istitutrice - descritta in mezza pagina neanche - ne giunge una nuova, la signorina Taylor, che prende subito in odio Florence ma sembra avere una particolare attrazione per Giles.
Presto cominciano a verificarsi fenomeni sovrannaturli che
Phil Bradley
This is an extraordinary book for a variety of reasons. It's a gentle gothic tale in the Turn of the Screw format, with Florence a young girl being the main protagonist. The reader is drawn quickly into the tale, with her and her brother stuck in an old rambling pile of a house with only servants around them, until we have the inevitable arrival of the new governess. Atmospherically it's a pure delight. The quixotic language that Florence employs is fascinating, turning nouns into verbs (I corri ...more
Alumine Andrew
What a little gem! This is a very well crafted little tale which is classified as a thriller but is more of a shiverer!I haven't read much in the Gothic genre but this one is well worth while even if you are not a Goth fan. As i read I got a creepy feeling that things are not as they seem. almost like i was seeing something out of the corner of my eye but when I stared hard, I couldn't see what it was. Fleeting glimpses, creaking doors, wind whistling through long dark corridors...That kind of t ...more
I had been craving something gothic so when I stumbled upon this title on someone’s youtube book haul, my interest was piqued. Florence and Giles contains all the elements necessary in a gothic novel. A mansion, ghosts, lurking evil, a heroine and sinister, if absent, parental figures. It also contains something not usually present in many novels: a language, similar to, but more stylized than, English. Florence has her own “language” that she uses to narrate her story. It took a long while for ...more
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––––•(-•The Insomniac Book Hoarder•-
The story is narrated by a 12 year old closeted bibliophile named Florence. We see; feel and take in everything from Florence's perspective. She is intelligent, imaginative, intuitive and above all, a loyal caretaker of her brother Giles- a sister who would do anything for the security and health of her brother.

The events starts out slow, somehow establishing the basic descriptions of Florence's surroundings as well as her relationships with others. It was later on that I realised and begin to
May 06, 2011 Sally rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sally by: Manuela
Shelves: 1800s, creepy
Manu recommended this to me, and brought it with her during her visit so that I could actually read it. At first I wasn't sure if I would like it, it starts off a bit slow... but then that slowness becomes cosy and kind of sucks you in, and suddenly it's all gripping and you're on the edge of your seat and SO sucked in you can't put the book down!

I haven't read The Turn of the Screw but I have seen The Innocents, though that was maybe 15 years ago and I don't remember much in any case. So to me
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Can we really trust Florence's perception of events? 7 82 Mar 07, 2014 07:56AM  
Who was Miss Taylor? 3 83 Mar 07, 2014 06:58AM  
Lush Library: Florence and Giles -- SPOILER thread 17 63 Apr 26, 2012 07:13AM  
Lush Library: Florence and Giles -- Progress and Non-Spoiler Thread 21 24 Apr 16, 2012 11:12AM  
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“As I princessed in the tower, he knight-in-shining-armoured up the drive.” 1 likes
“She was mantelpieced by a large bosom [...] you could have stood things on it, a vase of flowers and a bust of Beethoven, and a family photograph or two, maybe.” 1 likes
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