Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gad's Hall” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Gad's Hall
Norah Lofts
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gad's Hall (Gad's Hall #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  318 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
An unutterable secret, kept so securely by the women of Gad's Hall a century past, creates havoc for its present-day occupants.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 1980 by Coronet Books (first published 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gad's Hall, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gad's Hall

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 13, 2013 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, is this a cross-over genre that combines deep description of core personality for 5 or 6 main characters, but also at the same time hums a hypnotic mood. The platform of the place being one of concrete strong structural base for contentment and "good intent" belief countered with a dichotomy of constant singular antithesis to all that is "normal" and of "natural" wholeness.

This is Norah Lofts near the end of her career. She is experimenting in somewhat a reversal of her normal chronologic
Nov 05, 2010 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural fiction, and of historical fiction; Lofts fans
Recommended to Werner by: It was a group read
Set in Lofts' favorite fictional setting, the environs of her imaginary Baildon, Suffolk, this novel is divided into two parts: Part I, set in the author's present, in which a modern family moves into the titular Gad's Hall only to find that there are certain strange manifestations there, connected to a locked attic room with no key; and Part II, set in the mid-19th century, in which we learn what exactly went on in that room and why it came to be locked permanently. The reason, as Lofts implies ...more
Boring, boring, BORING.

I don't expect every haunting novel to stand up against masterworks like Hill House or The Shining, but this was just plain dull. No personality to the characters (except perhaps the contemporary narrator, who only stands out because she's a prattling, yammering moo), no plot whatsoever (unless you count endless minutia re: prices of Victorian farming + nonstop blabbing about all the damn daughters & who they married), bland descriptions of purposeless details, brief
Dec 28, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes horror
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
When the Spender family - Bob, his wife Jill, and their three children - are first offered the chance to move into Gad's Hall; they are absolutely thrilled. The previous owner of this ancient, beautifully kept Tudor-style house is a kind-hearted elderly gentleman who simply wants someone to protect the family homestead. He is actually looking for a family that is capable of caring for the mansion, and of bringing Gad's Hall back to life; and he is willing to give the Spenders his home for practi ...more
I read the combined edition with both stories in one volume;
Gad's Hall and The Haunting of Gad's Hall.

This is the first novel (or novels) by Norah Lofts I've read and honestly I found it (them) somewhat disappointing. I thought that I was sure to find something spooky between the covers given the title. But sadly this story just didn't do much for me in the spooky department.

The story is about two families. There is a contemporary story and an historical one, both center around an old Tudor h
Jul 09, 2014 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We see at once whether a book brings the kind of story we anticipated. Sometimes, what you get instead, is a masterpiece like “Gad’s Hall”! As you are swept up in the lives of each person, it is no disappointment. I see that Norah Lofts ruled the gargantuan gift of authoring deeply-entrenched historical sagas. This pair of novels is as ambitious but stands apart.

A 1977 family disbelieves the bargain of a well-kept manor, with fruit trees and grounds from whence to make their living. Bob Spender’
Apr 27, 2014 Zora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zora by: a "haunted house" list
I was looking for a haunted house book, and this is on several goodreads lists under that topic, but it's not a haunted house book at all. It was well enough written, I suppose, but right on the cover it says "a novel of the supernatural," and unless you count two people having vague uneasiness about a new house, there's nothing of the sort in here.
Patrik Sahlstrøm
Jan 18, 2017 Patrik Sahlstrøm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts out excellently, but loses steam towards the end, it's obviously the first half of a longer story. By itself the ending is not satisfactory but I'm optimistic that book 2 "The Haunting of Gads Hall will pick up momentum again). A good read if you know what to expect ;-)
Sep 16, 2016 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting this to be a typical haunted house story and instead, the haunting is more of a frame for the backstory. It was oddly delightful and the backstory was well written and made me wish it was a miniseries. I could easily see it on screen. It's not at all scary, but still manages to be compelling and the characters were all interesting. Really well done.
Jun 19, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another holiday read. I've been meaning to read this book for over 20 years. It has been on the bookshelves at my parent's house since before i was born. I was always 'about to read it'. I think I was a little wary due to the spooky cover. Keeping myself awake because of a book happened too often!

This is the tale of how a couple come to own the titular Gad's Hall. Partway into the book it steps back in time to an earlier part of the history of Gad's Hall. It tells the tale of the famil
Katharine Edgar
Jan 30, 2015 Katharine Edgar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Norah Lofts being creepy and supernatural in a 19th century farming context. It wasn't as scary as I remembered it, the 'evil' is very slow-burning and it's interesting more because of the strong characters and very practical plot (how does the widow of a cattle farmer manage to run her late husband's farm in the face of prejudice against women?) than the Satanic bit of the storyline.
I think it didn't quite work for me because the Satanic stuff needed to be more fully developed - it was
Ok, the cover of my book has "A Novel of the Supernatural. Gad's Hall." To anyone that has read this book: where was the supernatural?? There were 2 pages of eerie feelings at the beginning of the book and then nothing relating to the supernatural until page 200! Sooo disappointing....

Don't get me wrong,"Gad's Hall" was a very good read. The story essentially covers the history of a of two families living farm house in rural England. I won't go into any more detail than that because many other r
Nancy Ellis
Aug 14, 2015 Nancy Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten how good a storyteller this author was! This is another book that has been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile and turned out to be great entertainment! The Spender family can't believe their good fortune at finding this beautiful Tudor manor for an unbelievably reasonable price. Naturally, the house is haunted! The majority of the book tells the story of the Thorley family in the mid-1800s and how the strange fortunes of all those involved were affected by the evil of one pers ...more
Melissa Osburn
Sep 19, 2013 Melissa Osburn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the intertwining of stories, the present mixing with the past. I found myself admiring Jill's tenacity and resourcefulness. And I admired Mrs. Thorley for the same reason, both women were strong, even in the face of heartbreaking events, and both decided it was best to continue than to dwell on their misfortunes. Both women were portrayed as flawed and that only made them more human, more realistic. I enjoy reading and rereading this book, it calls to me every so often, inviting me back ...more
Jan 02, 2015 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars is actually half a star too much. Can't help but wonder if Lofts intended the two novels to actually be one long one - I'm reading the edition that pairs the two, which makes it quite easy to go from one right into the other, especially as the first novel (GAD'S HALL) simply peters-out as though Lofts had lost interest. Anyone who read it before the sequel was published must surely have thought Lofts very much off-form.

That said, I have to say that in both novels I've had a great pro
Jan 02, 2011 F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Norah Lofts, the author, developed the main female character, Isabel Thorley, with a brick-strong will. Ms. Thorley raised two daughters and two step-daughters, making no difference with the girls, ironically calling upon one of the stepdaughters in time of dire need. Ms. Thorley managed the Victorian Age farm as a widow. Ms. Thorley went to all extremes to hide one of her daughter's mental illness.
James Barnes
Apr 09, 2014 James Barnes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really???? What happened to Lucinda? What happened during the delivery of her baby? What was so Devilish and Evil? What happened during the Exorcism? Did my book have pages removed?????? I have to admit, the book was a page turner only to find out absolutely nothing!
Mar 10, 2010 Rebekah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prequel to The Haunting of Gad's Hall. Excellent psychological portraits within a very interesting story.
Sep 04, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not scary, starts off like it is going to be, builds for a while, hangs in there and then just ends. I suppose if I read the sequels I might get the whole story, but I doubt I will.
Dec 30, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite by this author--I own the set of Gad's Hall & The Haunting of Gad's hall. Really keeps me engrossed even when I've read it multiple times!
Cathy Strasser
Oct 10, 2009 Cathy Strasser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic ghost story complete with all the ingredients - and told so convincingly you can't help but believe it! Highly recommended.
Lindy rated it really liked it
May 24, 2013
Julia rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2013
Bethany rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2012
JMH rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2016
Pamela rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2013
Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
Katie-Ellen Hazeldine rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2014
Patti Overholt
Patti Overholt rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2015
Marcia Sheppard
Marcia Sheppard rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2017
Jude rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Good book to read around Halloween 2 10 Dec 24, 2008 05:36PM  
  • Julian's House
  • Sweetheart, Sweetheart
  • Dancehall
  • Summer of the Red Wolf
  • The Witches
  • An Act of Love
  • Witch House
  • Crescent City
  • Night Echoes
  • Coroner at Large
  • The Saints and Sinners of Okay County: A Novel
  • Evil Twins: Chilling True Stories of Twins, Killing and Insanity
  • Still Talking
  • Going All the Way
  • The Tarnished Eye
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Queen in Waiting (Georgian Saga, #2)
  • The King's Grey Mare
Also published using the pseudonyms Juliet Astley and Peter Curtis

Norah Lofts, née Norah Robinson, (27 August 1904–10 September 1983) was a 20th century best-selling British author. She wrote over fifty books specialising in historical fiction, but she also wrote non-fiction and short stories. Many of her novels, including her Suffolk Trilogy, follow the history of a specific house and the residen
More about Norah Lofts...

Other Books in the Series

Gad's Hall (2 books)
  • The Haunting of Gad's Hall (Gad's Hall, #2)

Share This Book

“Better, I thought, never to have been born than this; brought out of nothingness, to labour and strive and back into nothingness again; a bit of fungus on the surface of a splinter of a dying star.” 3 likes
More quotes…