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Das Geheimnis von Grange House
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Das Geheimnis von Grange House

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  859 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
Maisie Thomas spends every summer at Grange House, a hotel on the coast of Maine ruled by the elegant Miss Grange. In 1896, when Maisie turns 17, her visit marks a turning point. On the morning after her arrival, local fishermen make a gruesome discovery - drowned lovers, found clasped in each other's arms.

It's only the first in a series of events that casts a shadow over
Hardcover, 414 pages
Published 2001 by List (first published July 7th 2000)
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2015 Edit: This was the first review I posted on GR, & I cringe every time I see it. So I'm revising. :) Rest assured the polishing will not alter any essential content; my reaction to the blowhard characters & belabored plotting remains the same. It will, however, make things less sprawling & TL;DR.


Spoilers. You've been warned.

Woe for 2 stars. :( Grange House includes several motifs I love -- the late-Victorian period, the pieced format (letters, diaries, stories loosely link
May 10, 2011 Sangeeta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2015 Melee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could have been so much better... But then again, I randomly selected it at the library, so it could've been a lot worse!

I really loved the novel's setting. I thought the author evoked the Victorian era wonderfully! The sea-drenched gothic feel was delicious. But... eh, my enthusiasm petered out somewhere around the middle. I found the story had gotten rather dull, especially during Nell's journal entries. The biggest family secret was interesting! I didn't guess what it was. (Hint: Perdita
This novel is set in the late 1800's. The main character, Maisie, is a 17 year old girl from a society family. The family visits Maine each summer and stays at a manor that formely belonged to the local quarry owner. The sole remainder of the family, Nell, lives in the attic of the home and the home is managed by a housekeeper and a cook. Maisie has a special connection with Miss Grange, who was an "authoress". Nell likes to tell Maisie stories, some of which seem to be incredible tales of her o ...more
Amanda Caldwell
Finally, finally, FINALLY DONE!!! So glad to be finished with this book. No disrespect to the author, but this book was horrible. It was so long and drawn out. It was super dull, it couldn't hold my attention at all. The peculiar thing is, is that it has potential. Like, it could be good, it actually HAS potential. The way it was executed is what I blame for it not being good at all. First of all, the author tried to write the book as if it were actually written during The Victorian Era. It wasn ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Brooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Brooke by: Goodreads.
My list of major issues with this book:
Issue #1: It reminded me (too much) of my least favorite book ever, A Northern Light. Which brings me to
Issue #2: The only major difference between the two was that A Northern Light actually had an ending, while Grange House...You call that an ending? Get back to work! We don't even know who she chose! (Although my money's on Bart.) Or what Henry and Halcy were doing out on that damn lake in the first place! I'm only good with non-endings in books if the au
Apr 03, 2012 Astrid rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bk-grp
2.5 Very well written, really, really liked it up until the end. What I thought was kind of a gothic feminist novel, turned out to have a bunch of fragile minded, hysterical women and the reasonable ones were all men. Ultimately very disappointing!
This was an incredibly atmospheric book. The writing was drop dead gorgeous, particularly the descriptions of the sea and woods. I quite liked Maisie and Bart; I felt ambiguous about the rest of the characters.

I found the use of Miss Grange's diary entries to be a little clunky (I was counting the pages until they ended and that's never a good sign) and in the end it was a bit too gothic for my taste. (view spoiler) (I think I'll li
Three cases of mistaken or deliberately hidden identity, three people who die falling, three people who die drowning, three love affairs that collapse into disaster, two cases of madness, and one case of mysterious childish hand prints appearing on the walls of Grange House. Women wandering the halls at night, women speaking in riddles, a woman who lives in the attic, and a female ghost with a baby in her arms.
What is going on here you might ask? Nothing really, just a bit of wandering Victorian
Jan 24, 2012 Lormac rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be able to get through this book, I would advise the reader to imagine that they are living in 1880s New England with Maisie Thomas. Blake seems to be trying to write a book that is not historical fiction; she is trying to actually become an author in that period. The language can be so stilted and formal, and as a reader, you can fight against it, or just give in and pretend that you are sitting in a Victorian parlor reading by the fading light through the lace curtains while the maid lights ...more
Mar 25, 2015 Whitney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Victorian-style novel is here! It is juicy, gasp-inducing, but very much PG-rated. Fewer than a half-dozen kisses occur. Childbirth is appropriately veiled in delirium and handed over to wet nurses. Death visits women who stand up in boats. And yet our heroine is strangely modern. Being 17 at the novel's opening, she is brimming with self-centered, naive excitement. She embraces the idea that she can become an independent "Female Author," and she flirts with men while not having the slightes ...more
Aug 06, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book on my shelf for years and finally dusted it off. After reading the back cover, my anticipation was renewed and I was super excited to start. After 30 pages, I was bored to death. It has such a fabulous premise, but the writing was so drawn out and flat I had no ambition to keep reading.
Nov 13, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved this book. The prose was gorgeous, really surrounding you with this misty, back in time feeling that the cover illustrates perfectly. It's a mystery, it's a Victorian love story, it's a ghost story, and it's haunting and beautiful.
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very very good book. Recommended for those with lots and lots of patience who don't want just to cut to the chase.

The author of Grange House, Sarah Blake, has a degree in Victorian literature. This book is her attempt at a Victorian-period piece of writing, set in America -- both ghost story and gothic. It takes a while to get into the book, but once you're there, it is highly reminiscent of something that one of the Brontes might have written.

Grange House, a hotel, formerly the homes of the G
Mar 03, 2011 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grange House is the story of Maise Thomas, a young woman at the turn of the century whose coming-of-age story begins on a seemingly normal trip to a summer vacationing house in Maine. There she is faced with anguishing hearbreak, haunting revelations, and her own female awakening. Maise's journey leads her to unearth the sins of the dead, and reclaim startling truths that will change her future.

I was glued to Grange house, both by its beautiful prose and ryhtmic storytelling which lulls the rea
Mirandia Berthold
Jun 05, 2013 Mirandia Berthold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I actually picked up this book at one of the dollar stores on a random stop in while I was in high school. I was looking for a cheap read to take with me on a senior trip to check out a college.
I read the book, and started discussing it with my grandmother so she went to get a copy too and started on it. By the time I got back from my trip she had read it twice and so had I. We had great discussions about the book. There were lots of "Did you think that was coming" and "I had to read it again t
Lara Mckee
There is something deeply intriguing and mysterious about this book but there just too many unanswered questions. I was summarizing the book for my husband and I couldn't help but laugh out loud at how ridiculous the plot of the book sounded. I felt like the author was trying so hard to make this a beautiful, meaningful, sophisticated work of literature but it really was a little silly. Sorry
Jul 26, 2008 Kylie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The first time I read this book, I was enthralled. This book has an over-the-top Gothic plot. It's romantic, it's a ghost story. It's Victorian and creepy and suspenseful and interesting. It's no Jane Eyre, but it definitely aspires to be and frankly, I was happy just to read a contemporary novel that makes the attempt. I re-read this recently, and this time I did a lot of skimming since I knew what was going to happen, and the melodrama stretched my patience. Still, it is an interesting read.
Lauren Albert
Apr 17, 2010 Lauren Albert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I made it 100 pages and had to put it down. It is well written but as soon as the ghost stuff started, I found myself rolling my eyes. I don't give up on books very often but I couldn't bear it. I don't know if is just a matter of taste or if it was poorly done. I lean towards the latter since I found the Miss Grange character laughable in her faux mysteriousness.
Jane C.
May 15, 2010 Jane C. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one because her latest book is getting good reviews. I guess I just don't like gothic literature, and can't really make through an entire novel written in Victorian-era language. Halfway through I tired of the constant question of whether or not what people said was true or a story, and the whole thing was just too gloomy, creepy, and depressing.
Dec 18, 2012 Marty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The truth is I did not finish it. It just seemed so over wrought and the story seemed to be going back and fourth. I always know when I am not into a book when I find other reasons not to pick it up. I read over half and do not need to see it to the end.
I tried several times to read this book.. Should be right up my alley! But It dragged, I would read a page but then had no idea what I had just read because i just couldnt get into it enough to even pay attention! Maybe this one just wasnt for me.
Jun 26, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If it were possible I would've given this book 10 stars. Riveting and poetic, charming and chilling, this one kept me up late into the night.
Marcella Curry
I loved the first 2/3 of this book but then the story became overly convoluted and repetitive.
Jun 06, 2015 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Haunting. Intrinsic. Original. Everything I wanted in a novel.
Jan 20, 2009 Bekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-story
If your in the mood for a really good ghost stroy read this one!
Aug 10, 2011 Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did not like this book
Aug 15, 2011 Kay added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
very well written
Mar 06, 2010 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not wait to pick up this book, a story of love and ghosts. Grange House sat forever on my shelf until the right moment... Wow. Not sure why I waited so long.
My expectations were high. I was mildly disappointed.

Grange House was a little slow to get into. The beginning seemed to drag, in both content and writing. I will admit that I am not a huge fan of victorian writing; Grange House was written in the victorian writing style.

The parts of the book that I absolutely loved was the relati
Feb 14, 2016 Collie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been binging on "old-fashioned" ghost stories lately, and this was pleasent (if not very gripping), especially when read directly after the melodramatic bog of Picnic at Hanging Rock. The supernatural elements are few and far between, though, and the ~dark secrets~ hinted at endlessly are pretty standard.
The novel is bumped up to four stars, however, for two characters who are written as progressive women for their time without falling into the cliche of being third-wave feminists in perio
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Sarah taught high school and college English for many years in Colorado and New York. She has taught fiction workshops at the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, MA, The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda MD, The University of Maryland, and The George Washington University. She lives in Washington DC with her husband, the poet Joshua Weiner, and their two sons.

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“A woman will be proportion as she makes those around her happy...” 4 likes
“All love stories beget ghost stories.” 2 likes
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