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Florence and Giles (Florence & Giles #1)

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3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,811 Ratings  ·  360 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

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ebook, 240 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2010)
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Janine Barltrop I loved Florence as the narrator, but I thought her 'own language' was pointless, annoying and added nothing to the story.
I thought that sort of…more
I loved Florence as the narrator, but I thought her 'own language' was pointless, annoying and added nothing to the story.
I thought that sort of effect was more successfully done in other novels, e.g. Snake Ropes by Jess Richards.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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April Cote
A two and a half star. This one pissed me off. I was so bored in the beginning I almost abandoned it. Around chapter 10 it picked up pace and the thrills got going. Murder, possible kidnapping, a witch, mysterious persons who are only spoken of but never mentioned...it gets you curious and excited! Yes!! The story is getting good! You get to the last chapter and you think, I will finally get all the answers to all the mystery!! You keep reading...and here it is the end is near! And it's.....A BI ...more
Jane
Dec 04, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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
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Essie Fox
Aug 06, 2011 Essie Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'.
Teresa
May 16, 2010 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Maria
Aug 23, 2010 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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Amy
Feb 29, 2016 Amy rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
description
What a complete load of rubbish.

I had such high expectations of this book. The front cover lured me in with that creepy face at the window. From the blurb I was expecting a haunting, Victorian-style ghost story, perfect for reading on cold evenings with a hot chocolate.

Sadly, what I got was utter drivel. I appreciate the writing style was deliberately different with the made up words and switcheroo of traditional sentences. It did get right on my tits, but I could have let it go were the story
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Zee
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,
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Maria
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
Serena.. Sery-ously?
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!
Tr
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Debora
Nov 03, 2011 Debora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ceduti-venduti
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
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Afini
Jan 11, 2012 Afini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chicco Padovan
Mar 28, 2014 Chicco Padovan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura C.
May 03, 2014 Laura C. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Martin Belcher
Dec 03, 2011 Martin Belcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2012 Blablabla Aleatório rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nubia
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
Mandy
Aug 08, 2010 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lena
Dec 22, 2013 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Veronica
Jun 19, 2016 Veronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

Si tratta di un libro molto particolare.
Non so neanche da dove cominciare a recensire, in realtà.
Inizio con il dire che questo titolo non ha nulla a che vedere con la storia vera e propria.
E' vero si parla di libri proibiti ma la biblioteca è soltanto un contorno.
Alla nostra protagonista, infatti, viene negata l'istruzione da parte di suo zio.
Non può imparare a leggere ed è proprio questo che la spinge a ribellarsi e ad acculturarsi da autodidatta, di nascosto, all'insaputa della governant
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Alice
Aug 06, 2015 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like really weird made up words
Shelves: audiobooks
One of the most irritating audiobooks I've ever borrowed.

I was so excited by the blurb for this novel, The Turn of the Screw is one of my favourite stories so anything in the same vain is sure to be a winner, right? Wrong. Florence seems incapable of actual speech. Despite a heavy handed suggestion from Harding (for it was clearly a writers suggestion and not Florence's) that Shakespeare's ability to make up words was amazing and our heroine wishes to do the same adding 'ery' to the end of word
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TheWellReadLady
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
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Josh Alliston
Florence & Giles by John Harding is a tale of isolation, fear, madness and risen spirits. It is simultaneously a classic ghost story and a modern psychological thriller, with a truly unique narrator. What at first seems to be a fairly standard story of a lonely child living a secluded life in a haunted house soon turns into an intriguing, compelling, spine-tingling and original story that is impossible to put down.

Florence, our narrator, is an instantly likeable enigma, with her own take on
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Nesa Sivagnanam
Jul 11, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jo
Aug 11, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Florence is a 12 year old orphan living with her younger brother in an old mansion under the care of a small group of servants, all paid for by her uncle. After the governess dies in a tragic boating accident, another is sent to replace her. Florence is convinced she is an evil entity there to steal Giles away. Throughout you're made to think that this is going to be a horror story about possession or some such but there are hints to the darker nature of the human soul and imagination. Very cree ...more
Alekz Hannah
Nov 04, 2015 Alekz Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
I like the style, the gothic atmosphere was nicely done. The ending was soul crushing, god! But there was a few unanswered questions that I'd like to get more from. And the characters age was a bit diffuse, like, are kids really like that? In general it was a good gothic tale though.
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
Jan 24, 2015 Andrea Russo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jabeen
Feb 11, 2016 Jabeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel we follow 12 year old orphan Florence and her brother Giles, living in an out of the way mansion, raised by the estates servants and governesses. Forbidden to learn how to read by her guardian uncle, whom the children have never met, Florence secretly teaches herself to read. Florence narrates the story and it becomes clear she is highly intelligent and loves her brother dearly. A new governess joins the household and that’s when all the crazy starts.


A slightly disturbing novel, i
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Vanessa Montês
Feb 19, 2015 Vanessa Montês rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emprestaram-me
(...)

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 http://blocodedevaneios.blogspot.pt/2...
Grace Harwood
Jan 12, 2015 Grace Harwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Gothic Novel ...: Florence and Giles 8 13 Apr 03, 2016 06:24AM  
SPOILERS! What really happened with her father and stepmother? 5 21 Oct 04, 2015 06:42AM  
Who was Miss Taylor? 4 102 Aug 13, 2015 09:15PM  
Can we really trust Florence's perception of events? 7 90 Mar 07, 2014 07:56AM  
Lush Library: Florence and Giles -- SPOILER thread 17 90 Apr 26, 2012 07:13AM  
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“As I princessed in the tower, he knight-in-shining-armoured up the drive.” 3 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.” 2 likes
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