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House of Echoes

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,852 ratings  ·  81 reviews
When Joss Grant inherits Belheddon Hall in Essex from a mother she never knew, she and her husband, Luke, move in with their young son, Tom. All Joss knows of the house is that her two young brothers died there many years ago, but local townspeople whisper of a curse on both the house and Joss's family. Something is definitely wrong: the laughter of young boys echoes throu ...more
Paperback, 476 pages
Published 1997 by Signet (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Hannah
I do admit that this book goes on for about 100 pages longer then it should. And the female protagonist, Joss, too often lets her husband and sister walk all over her. Lyn, the sister, is one of the most annoying secondary characters I've ever read. And there is a repetitivness that comes into play about 3/4 of the way through...

With that being said....
Still one of the creepiest books I've ever read. Erskine manages to create a subtle feeling of spooky, building tension that makes it very hard t
...more
January Girl
Nothing like a good old ghost story...! Lots of tension here so don't read this if you're wanting a 'light read'; it's not and it may play on your mind once you turn out the lights! Chilling and atmospheric, this manages to get beneath your skin in the most subtle ways. Involving children in the tale is always going to add that unnerving edge to the story and that is certainly achieved here. I'm deducting a star from the ratings merely because of the ancestry; there's a lot to remember and it's ...more
Cat
I LOVED Midnight is a lonely place" as it was the first one i read but i think all the books by this author are the same and i have read 3 so far. here is the plot for all:

1) Old house
2) Middle Aged Heroine
3) Ghost trying to fuck her up
4) everyone thinks she is mental until there is a storm.
5) The storm reveals all.


yawwwnnn
Sean
'House of Echoes' by Barbara Erskine for me was one of the best reads I have had in a long time.

If you love historical mysteries that surround an ancient house from a distant family full of sheer terror on every page this is the book for you.

I was given this book by my mother, who usually reads those supermarket sagas about girls who grow up poor in liverpool or some other shitty town in England in the 1800's who have been raped and left for dead then meet rich men blah blah more tragedy blah bl
...more
Linda
In the mood for a ghost story? Put your overworked sense of reality into a state of suspended animation, and read about a haunted house in Essex, England. Jocelyn Grant's husband has lost his business due to his underhanded partner, when, serendipitously, Joss goes on a search for her birth mother, finding not only her roots but an inheritance in the shape of her ancestral home. Of course it's haunted - there'd be no story otherwise - and some of this novel is rather overdone. As other reviews h ...more
badfae
I've read two of this author's books, and, quite frankly, that was enough to make me avoid the rest of her work. It's not terrible...just...eh. Two different novels by the same author using the presumed-to-be-hysterical-woman-whom-the-men-don't-take-seriously-despite-clear-evidence premise may just be unfortunate sampling on my part, but, why take the risk?

Again, she started with a good idea, but the execution is lacking. I once saw a review for this where the person said it was just well-writt
...more
Hayley
I read this as a small child (despite being told it's too grown up for me) but I remembered it vaguely since then and wanted to read it again!
I think a lot went over my head as a kid!
My now impressions:
I still enjoyed it, the suspense and spookiness builds nicely, but not in a lose-sleep kind of way. The characters were diverse (hated Lyn, liked Jimbo).
The style of writing is a little dated now, but still holds up.
Ending felt a little rushed, and one really odd random thing that happened midway
...more
Damaskcat
Joss inherits a house - Belheddon - completely out of the blue. The inheritance comes just at the right time when Luke, her husband, has lost his job and they need to find somewhere cheaper to live and where he can set up a new business. The house is very old and seems to have a bad reputation in the village but Luke and Joss and their small son Tom are determined t0 make the best of things and turn it into a family home.

What follows is a nightmare with Joss being aware of voices and what her so
...more
Clare
My first novel by her and after this I have read every book of hers. Her storytelling has you gripped with every sentence, this was no different. This will hold a special place in my heart and would recommend this book to everyone I know!
Joana
Ora portanto, tendo em conta que já tinha lido dois livros da autora, um que adorei e outro que enfim, não sabia muito bem o que esperar deste e portanto comecei a lê-lo com algum receio.
No entanto fui completamente surpreendida e arrebatada! Adorei a história, todo o mistério em que a casa está envolta, o diferente leque de personagens que a autora nos dá a conhecer (desde personagens que não acreditam minimamente em fantasmas,até aquelas que a sua vida em determinada altura parece não girar em
...more
Sara Giacalone
(Three and 1/2 stars) I was in the mood for a supernatural thriller with a bit of history a la Seyton's Green Darkness or du Maurier's The House on the Strand and, for the most part, House of Echoes fit the bill. Being adopted myself I loved the idea of inheriting a 13th century house from birth parents, and the house having a reputation of evil happenings only makes it better. The story was suspensful and a little bit scary, but nothing that kept me up at night (except to get to the end of the ...more
Kathy
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I liked that it took me to England and Paris-that's always a plus. The descriptions of the house were always good; it was exactly what you'd expect of a haunted manor in a small village in England. The people had distinct personalities and I got a real sense of their fear whenever something scary happened. There were scary moments throughout the book and that is what I'm after. I want a book to actually SCARE me! For all of this I give the book three stars ...more
Thea
I gladly suspended disbelief for the three days it took me to read this book. It's a creepy (as in haunted manor house in England) page-turner that made me feel like someone was watching me as I read late into the night. Ooooh.

That being said, the book goes on too long and some parts seemed somewhat repetitive, but I was entertained. It satisfied my desire to read something I could get into without having to think too much about it. However (SOMEWHAT OF A SPOILER AHEAD), I thought the last few c
...more
Tess
Not my favorite Erskine, but not a bad little book either. Filled with just the right level of creepy, this is a suspenseful ghost story with ties to the time of the Wars of the Roses. It more or less follows the premise of a family inheriting an old house with a reputation. Shortly thereafter strange things begin to occur: the sound of children playing, a mysterious man who only the toddler can see, and white roses appearing out of nowhere.

What irked me about this book was what is kind of alway
...more
Thumbelina-thighs
I just literally finished this book about 30mins ago and although I was very entertained throughout, I found the ending quite lacking. Therefore I gave it only 4 stars. I find that Erskine quite often falls short at the finale of her books, almost as if she is desperate to finish. All in all I loved this book and found it very entertaining and scary!!! Really setting the mood for Halloween. However, i was disapointed by the lack of finality in the ending.
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dianne Landry
It'S been a while since read one of her books but I was pleasantly surprised. Inheriting Belheddon couldn't have come at a better time for Joss. Her husband's business partner has embezzled all the company's assets and they have to give up their home. Of course she didn't count on the house's many ghosts keeping them company.

A thiroughtly entertaining read.
Chroniclesoftania
A standard Barbara Erskine horror story with a traumatized, attractive-to-the-opposite-sex heroine who appears weak, mad and spaced out while she's communicating with the spirits that haunt her. I felt empathy for her not so pretty, clever or lucky sister and a bit annoyed with the heroine who everyone was running around. A good and enjoyable read overall however.
Kathryn
I enjoyed this book - I'm not keen on anything too scary, so this delivered just enough of a chill to keep me reading. Mind you, I do have to admit I will never understand why any mother would keep her children in a house where there were so many unexplained goings-on affecting them! I'd have left almost straight away...
Ann Welton
First - I received this free ARC e-book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. It is not far into this book, that the reader understands something is not quite right about the huge estate called the Crofts in upstate NY that the Tierney family has relocated to from the city. The sudden slamming of doors in the wide hallways, the unknown ticking sounds, the feelings that there is someone watching in the property forest, and on and on the story goes. It is very well-written, believable and carr ...more
Rebecca tedder
Not quite as fast paced as the previous Erskine book I read but an enjoyable tale of hauntings all the same and a book I would still recommend to fans of this genre.
Heather King
Spooky, but a very good read.
Kay Horlock
Having read the authors other books I knew what to expect. The basic story line is good,especially if the reader has an avid imagination. Joss the main character is a little hysterical and her sister somewhat of a bully,her husband,well,please,he refuses to acknowledge that which is right under his nose! As with all of this writers books this is a slowish starter,an excellent middle and a sudden short ending which leaves the reader wondering what the hell happened. None the less a good read.
Camille
I read this book on holiday in Fiji recently and enjoyed it but found it at least 100pages too long at 500+. The basically plot is about a young woman who inherits an old, large estate from her mother who had her adopted as a baby to discover that the house is haunted - but to her frustration the ghost primary presents itself to her (and never to her husband). The final 100 pages became a frantic page turner but before that the plot was overly laboured.
Ana
This book really creeped me out! Enjoyed it more than other Barbara Erskine books I've read though.
Mary Mathews
A very good ghost story. Also, a good tale of family relationships and what makes up a family.

I had not read anything by this author nor have I ever heard of her. I was pleasantly surprised with my new discovery.
Bill Khaemba
Truth be told I felt like some part were drugged on making the book have way more pages than it deserved, they could have saved a lot of trees.

Generally it was spooky on edge and very much addictive towards the middle pages
Helen Battle
This book is the best ghost story that I have read so far.
I hated putting the book down and couldn't wait to pick it back up again.
If you love a scary ghostly book then this one is a must !
Velvetink
Donated to Smith Family charity march 2015
Tiny
So bad I can't remember a single page.
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
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