The House at Midnight
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The House at Midnight

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  778 ratings  ·  149 reviews
On an icy winter weekend, seven friends celebrate New Year's Eve at Stoneborough, a grand manor in the English countryside. They've been brought together by Lucas Heathfield, a young man who recently inherited the property after the tragic death of his uncle Patrick. Though still raw from the loss of his last family member, Lucas welcomes this tight-knit group of friends t...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Ballantine Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. MilneThe Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales by Edgar Allan PoeSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls WilderA Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
Best "HOUSE" Books.
31st out of 168 books — 24 voters
Kim by Rudyard Kipling84, Charing Cross Road by Helene HanffWater for Elephants by Sara GruenA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Doorways
35th out of 118 books — 21 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,639)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
karen
okay, i understand this ones comparison to donna tartt. and i accept it. i really enjoyed this, even though it is about shitty people being shitty to each other in the name of friendship: sexual betrayal, emotional blackmail, financial expectations and passive-aggressive behavior galore! i thought the story was interesting and relatable - to a point.. but the point where it gets novel-y rather than true life-y was at least interesting and fun. not fun like meadows and hopscotch, more "fun if you...more
Jessica
I had high expectations about this book because it had been compared in reviews to Donna Tartt's The Secret History and Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca -- books I loved. What a disappointment! This book is definitely not even in the same league as the aforementioned books. The group of friends, the indulgent lifestyle, the haunted house -- the elements were all there, but the novel fell flat. The beginning of the book had a lot of potential, but I found the ending to be especially vague and rushed,...more
Holli
Wow. Just finished this book and I have to say that it's been a long time since a book swept me up in it like this one did. What a powerful story about the dynamics of a group of friends and the wonderful and horrible things that can happen within it. I loved it. Couldn't stop reading about the lives of these people to see what could possibly happen next. Great psychological drama....would really make a perfect movie I think!
Leonie
In part my dislike for this book is exacerbated by the way it's sold as a Gothic mystery type thing. I expected something supernatural to do with the house and all I got was a couple of references with the main character talking about the house's wild, evil pulse or something. The author was clearly working on influences like The Secret History, The Turn of the Screw etc, and while I don't necessarily demand originality, I am almost shocked that she couldn't knock together something better.


I ha...more
Blair
Absolutely excellent! I was instantly gripped and devoured the whole book within a day. The intrigue is subtle rather than overtly dramatic, but I found myself fascinated by the characters and their relationships, and desperate to know more about them. I loved the way their histories unfolded slowly as the story progressed, turning each into a wholly believable personality - after finishing the book I realised I had come to picture them so vividly that I found it shocking to think of them as fic...more
Bree T
Lucas inherits the palatial country pile Stoneborough Manor from his uncle Patrick, who was like a father to him. He thinks that it would be a great place for he and his college friends to spend the weekends and summers, drinking wine, listening to music and generally relaxing away from their city jobs. At first the weekends are fun, everyone gets along and enjoys themselves… but gradually it all starts to unravel.

Firstly Lucas and Joanna finally get together after what is close to 10 years of d...more
Kerstin
I was disappointed in this book. The cover promised it to be a gothic masterpiece, but that aspect of the story fell flat. The main character mentioned a strange atmosphere she could feel in the old mansion, but that was about it. The house never became its own character and the haunted, mysterious atmosphere I had hoped for was pretty much absent.
Other reviews led me to believe that this story was influenced by books like 'The Secret History', which could have saved this novel for me. Unfortuna...more
Misha
I have a love for all things gothic. This book was the perfect recipe for my addiction to gothic novels.

The actual reason why I loved it so much was that it reminded me so much of The Secret History. I don't know whether that's a bad thing or a good thing. But I really enjoyed The House At Midnight.

The House at Midnight is very atmospheric and gripping. It is an edge of the seat novel and the psychological suspense is intriguing. Throughout the book, there is feeling of hidden evil, of something...more
Michaela
When Lucas inherits Stoneborough Manor from his uncle Patrick, he invites all his friends to treat it like their own. But Stoneborough has secrets that will tear the friends apart and change their lives forever.

This book disappointed me. I thought it would be right up my alley and whilst it gave off very brief sparks of potential, it failed to take off.
The suspense built up to nothing, the gothic wasn't all that gothic and I found the main character Joanna boring.
It's a pity because I really wan...more
Susan
Apr 21, 2009 Susan rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: someone who can only choose this or the Kite Runner
Recommended to Susan by: no one--saw it on the new fiction shelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philippa
Some parts of this novel were really well written, and I guess that was what kept me reading, because I kept hoping it would redeem itself. I think the biggest flaw is in the characters - they weren't particularly likeable or well developed. I found myself not really caring what happened to them! The final few chapters really fell short of the tension and drama that had been created prior and didn't really resolve the way I thought it would. If you haven't read The Secret History by Donna Tartt,...more
Steve Lindahl
Many of the reviews posted for The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse mention other books that are like this novel in certain ways. The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier were both mentioned. (I haven’t read the first one, but loved the second.) I think finding similarities is a great way to discover new books, but hanging on to those comparisons can lead to false expectations.

The House at Midnight is about a group of friends. The house provides a place where these...more
Wendy Hines
A magnificent debut by Lucie Whitehouse, The House at Midnight will keep you up long into the night turning the pages. A modern gothic splashed with romance and suspense, this novel will wrap its dark magic around you.
On a bitterly cold winters night, New Year’s Eve, seven friends from college meet at Stoneborough, a grand manor in the English countryside. Lucas Heathfield recently inherited the manor after the shocking, tragic death of his Uncle Patrick. Hoping the manor will become their escap...more
Amy
I bought this cheaply from Amazon as a treat to cheer myself up because, quite simply, several people on here whose taste I like had enjoyed it. I was sadly disappointed. I wanted this to be excellent but, although I found it quick and easy to read, I didn't enjoy it very much at all. I think the characters were a peculiar bunch whose motivation to do the odd things they do escaped me. It didn't drag but I kept thinking it would pick up the pace and thrill me a little. It never did.

I think this...more
Lorraine
Jan 05, 2009 Lorraine rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: romantic suspense fans
Recommended to Lorraine by: Adam
Lucas has just inherited a beautiful old house from his uncle, and he invites his close college friends to join him every weekend for good times, college-style. They all love being there, but Joanna (the main character/narrator) notices the house has a presence all of its own. In fact, the house almost becomes one of the characters in the novel. Joanna realizes they're not in college anymore, and it's time to start living like adults. In a sense, the novel is an adult coming-of-age story.

Almost...more
Sarah
Jun 25, 2009 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Lucas's uncle has just killed himself and left his fortune and his mansion in the English countryside to Lucas. Joanna wants to comfort him and share the house, as Lucas wishes her to, but something about the house unsettles her. Then, she and Lucas embark on a relationship. It's great but....

I expected something much different from what this novel actually was. I expected a straight out ghost story, something in the vein of "Hell House" by Matheson - the description on the back as well as the r...more
Allison
Bleah. Blech. And also, ick. Oh, the searing melodrama. The sense of failure and desperation and regret but oh, wait, let's have some more sex and booze, that's worked out for us so well so far. Can I talk? Well, I'm in the middle of the biggest career opportunity of my life and this will probably totally destroy it, but what the hell, tell me all about your new girlfriend, my boss who's staring directly at me won't mind. And sorry about cheating on you with my girlfriend's boyfriend who's so mu...more
Ali
I was bought this book for Christmas by my Auntie, she bought this because Lucie went to school with my cousin, Lucie also used to live in the house that my Great Grand Father did.
I was intrigued - a fellow writer from Warwickshire (my home county) - I just haven't taken my work further yet.
I found the start slow and almost put the book down - the description was too much and was stopping me from getting into the story and the characters.
But I carried on - refusing to give up and wanting to like...more
Bee
This book is ideal for a train or plane journey. You pick it up and become almost instantly absorbed, and intrigued, and it kepts my attention to the point where I missed my stop for work because my nose was so firmly in it (always a good sign!). The down side was it's the first book I've read for ages when I didn't actually LIKE the protaganist! She made a lot of comments and decisions that made me frown and pout and not really think much of her. This was entertaining though, although not sure...more
Barb
I was looking forward to this, hoping it was going to be the "stunning piece of modern gothic" that John Connolly claimed it was on the book jacket. In my view it did not come close to living up to that description.

There is nothing of reality in this story, this is purely escapists fiction, there is an element of suspense that kept me reading but the climax, as well as much of the story, was not realistic. It was an easy read, with a lot of dialog and can be finished in a sitting or two. But ho...more
Sarah
Oh where to begin...
Everyone in this book chain smokes. Every 10 mins some one is smoking. Which is fine, I am not one of those crazies that goes off when there is "bad habits" depicted in books/movies/TV shows as it can add depth to character. But when many of your characters are smoking so often that my lungs hurt for them and I feel compelled to make hash marks to track the number of smoke breaks maybe you should find a new habit or action for your character to perform. After a while it show...more
Terri
I really enjoyed this book - quite creepy in a dark and menacing way. Very atmospheric.

(Read for the TNBBC Summer Challenge - read a book that hasn't already been made into a movie, and post a list of who you would cast - 15 points)

(My cast: Joanna - Kate Winslett; Lucas - Jude Law; Danny - Rufus Sewell; Martha - Drew Barrymore; Michael - Paul Bettany; Rachel - Keira Knightley; Greg - James McAvoy)
Meera
Loved most of this, but the ending spoilt it a bit for me. This book was described in the same sentence as 'Rebecca' and 'The Secret History' which are two of my favourite books, and certainly some comparisons can be drawn between these and this gothic story about a privileged group of Oxford graduates and their relationships with one another over one fateful year. The writing was really good for a debut and very evocative, and the mystery built up quite convincingly. However, towards the end th...more
Graham
While this book is very readable the plot has too many holes in it, none of the characters are particularly like-able and the narrator is so irritating as to be implausible. The comparisons to Donna Tartt and her book "The Secret History" bandied about in various quotes by the publisher are not only misleading but a serious insult to the much higher calibre work of Ms. Tartt.
Judith Cranswick
I so wanted to like this novel! I first met Lucie at the Winchester Writers' Conference when she was still an agent and the following year did a course with her. Glowing reviews on the back cover of the book by people like Lee Child and Susan Hill whetted my appetite even more, but I'm afraid 'The House at Midnight' was not for me. For a start, I'm not sure what kind of genre it was intended to be. There was certainly little suspense. Above all it was SO slow! Paragraph after paragraph of nature...more
Juushika
When Joanna's best friend inherits the family estate, he invites their close-knit group of college friends--now in their late twenties--to stay there, beginning a year of of relationships forever altered by the house's foreboding atmosphere and storied past. The House at Midnight should be far better than it is--the premise is intriguing and the atmosphere well-intended, but Whitehouse's unpolished style renders it as mundane, even pedestrian social drama and heavyhanded, inexplicably supernatu...more
Rowena
This book was pretty fantastic! A great story with many twists and turns, the kind of book that's really difficult to put down.
Ann
It was an interesting story, but I never connected with any of the characters.
inga
Quite a bit on the predictable side. I predicted the outcome, I predicted who the main character would end up with the moment he was introduced. And I predicted that (view spoiler)
I didn't see the twist with Patrick coming, though.

The way the focus shifted to sex somewhere in the middle of the book made me feel uncomfortable. That was unexpected and kind of redundant. Thank god it only lasted f...more
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 87 88 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dark Echo
  • Grange House
  • The Lessons
  • The Girl on the Stairs
  • Florence and Giles
  • The Night Climbers: A Novel
  • The Poison Tree
  • Dark Angel
  • The Vanishing
  • What Dies in Summer
  • The White Lie
  • The Ghost Orchid
  • A Place of Secrets
  • The Twisted Thread
  • House of Echoes
  • In Her Shadow
  • The Lantern
  • The Ghost Writer
885506
Lucie Whitehouse was born in the Cotswolds in 1975 and grew up in Warwickshire. She studied Classics at Oxford University and then began a career in publishing while spending evenings, weekends and holidays working on the book that would eventually become THE HOUSE AT MIDNIGHT.

Having married in 2011, she now divides her time between the UK and Brooklyn, where she lives with her husband. She writes...more
More about Lucie Whitehouse...
Before We Met The Bed I Made

Share This Book