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The Ghosts of Kerfol

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  268 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Now in paperback— In an enthralling work of Gothic suspense, an Edith Wharton story inspires five connected tales set in the same haunted manor over the centuries.

In her classic ghost story "Kerfol," Edith Wharton tells the tale of Anne de Barrigan, a young Frenchwoman convicted of murdering her husband, the jealous Yves de Cornault. The elderly lord was found dead on the
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published August 26th 2008)
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Cindy Dobrez
Jul 13, 2008 Cindy Dobrez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noyes takes Edith Wharton's classic gothic ghost story, Kerfol, and retells it in an opening story three times the length of the original from the viewpoint of a servant girl. Then, she further riffs on the story in four more stories set in later years that continue the themes and elements of the original.
Jul 14, 2008 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good ghost story and here is a collection of 5 creepy and beautifully written ghost stories that is also a tribute to the wonderful writing of Edith Wharton. First Deborah Noyes rewrites the classic story Kerfol from the perspective of a young maid in the household, then she takes the framing device of the original story as a spring board for the second ghost story, ladling up large dollups of Wharton's atmospheric prose. Three more stories follow, moving forward in time but all set in ...more
Tye Cattanach
Dec 31, 2010 Tye Cattanach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was young, I adored nothing more than being given the creeps by a well written ghost story. As I grew older though, it became more and more difficult to be scared or un-nerved by a story, no matter how well written. So I resigned myself to the fact that clearly I had outgrown being frightened by fiction and gave up the ghost shall we say.

Imagine my delight and surprise today when I found myself quite thoroughly creeped out and more than a little unsettled by The Ghosts Of Kerfol- Deborah
Stephanie Middleton
Jan 20, 2009 Stephanie Middleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
I really loved this book of short stories, based on Edith Wharton's classic ghost story "Kerfol" (which I dug up on Project Gutenberg to read AFTER I finished this collection.) It has been ages since I read a ghost story, and these just-creepy-enough stories were extremely well crafted and highly entertaining. I would say it would appeal more to adults or mature teens as opposed to the general young adult set; in fact, the only reason I can figure that landed it in our YA collection at the libra ...more
Noyes bases her stories on Edith Wharton's Kerfol. The first story is just a retelling of Kerfol, fleshed out, and from the point of a serving girl newly arrived at the house. From there, Noyes each story moves the the house closer to the present time, with various manifestations of the hauntings.

Her descriptions are uneven though. In one story, the house is haunted only by the dogs, as in Wharton's story. In other stories, there are various other ghosts, and it's not always clear who they're su
Dec 30, 2008 Kricket rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kricket by: got an ARC at the YALSA conference
**nota bene: i read an ARC of this book**
a fascinating premise: five short stories, all taking place in the same house- kerfol, of edith wharton's short story (which is called, well, 'kerfol'.) noyes starts with a retelling of wharton's story, told this time from the perspective of a handmaid. in 1613 a beautiful young frenchwoman is essentially kept prisoner in her home by her cruel older husband, who strangles her beloved dogs. eventually the husband is found dead in their home, kerfol, of inj
Sep 29, 2009 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing in this book is spectacular. Ms. Noyes creates a unique and tangible voice for each story (it is a collection based on a single incident and drawn through history), such that I believed in the time period she tried to evoke and in the distinct character’s point of view. This is also a slightly unsettling book, with its repetitious ghostly encounters, and the tension is strung very tight. Nevertheless, there were some moments when I wasn’t entirely engaged – and that may have been my ...more
Oct 10, 2008 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: Cindy Dobrez
I love the idea behind this book. After reading Edith Wharton's "Kerfol" just before getting this book, I was excited to read Noyes' take on the continuing adventures at the haunted house, but I felt that the delivery never quite lived up to the premise. It took me awhile to really get into the first story, but I think overall it's my favorite in the collection, followed by the final story. The three in the middle are all good stories, but not as creepy and thrilling as I'd hoped they would be.
Apr 10, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: like-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Noyes, Deborah. 2008. The Ghosts of Kerfol.

The Ghosts of Kerfol is an enjoyable short story collection that pays tribute to Edith Wharton's short story "Kerfol". I'd encourage you to take a few minutes (about ten or twenty actually) and read this haunting story about an old-and-creepy manor. The Ghosts of Kerfol is a collection of five short stories: "Hunger Moon," "These Heads Would Speak," "The Figure Under the Sheet," "When I Love You Best," and "The Red of Berries." The first two especially-
YA Reads Book Reviews
Let’s get one thing clear – I’m the biggest chicken ever. At least when it comes to ghost stories. I can’t read them without getting a bit jumpy, I watched Paranormal Activity behind a gap in my fingers, I think the guys on Ghost Hunters are nuts. So I was a bit hesitant about reading a story about vengeful ghosts from the 17th century.

The Ghosts of Kerfol is five short stories, starting with a retelling for Edith Wharton’s original short story Kerfol , with each subsequent story moving forward
Cat Conner
"The Ghosts of Kerfol" is a unique tale that follows the fictional, yet haunted, estate of Kerfol in France. Deborah Noyes wrote the book based off a story by Edith Wharton. However, Noyes takes an interesting spin in weaving five unrelated protagonists together with the supernatural character of Kerfol. The book starts off with the original story for the estate being haunted: an old nobleman by the name of Yves de Cornault is savagely murder by what appears to be dogs, even though de Cornault h ...more
Steph Bowe
Jul 26, 2015 Steph Bowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series of short ghost stories I found quite eerie. The first of the stories was definitely my favourite, spooky and beautifully told and subtly scary, the atmosphere building and building throughout. It was also the longest story in the collection. I loved the concept - five short stories told from different narrators set years and years apart, but all centering around the same haunted manor - and I felt it was well executed. In each subsequent story there were references to the ones previo ...more
I honestly didn't know what to expect from this book because I've been trying to branch out more and discover books that I haven't heard about before. This was one of the books in that little experiment that I picked up from the library. I thought that it would be interested just because of the ghosts and murder. Then I realized it was several interconnecting stories and I was even more intrigued. While it didn't completely impress me and isn't a favorite, it also isn't a waste of time and was d ...more
A collection of 5 short stories based on "Kerfol" by Edith Wharton. The stories start in the 17th Century with a retelling of Wharton’s story through the eyes of a young servant girl and end in 2006. All of the stories take place at the Kerfol estate which in the first story (and in Wharton’s) is the place of a mysterious and possibly supernatural murder, which has been haunted ever since by human and non-human spectres / forces.

Literary. Well-written. Ultimately unimpressive. There was nothing
Orrin Grey
The Ghosts of Kerfol is by Deborah Noyes, who edited a couple of my very favorite anthologies, and the first story in it, "Hunger Moon," was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for best novelette (where it is competing against several truly incredible stories). So, needless to say, I was interested in giving it a look.

And I found the whole book very enjoyable, especially "Hunger Moon," which is a retelling of the Edith Wharton short story "Kerfol" from the point of view of a serving girl. Each
Oct 04, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love creepy, gothic ghost stories and Noyes is creating her place as the reigning queen of gothic. This collection is based on Edith Wharton's Kerfol, the story of love, jealousy and dead vengeful dogs. The first story in this collection retells Kerfol from a servant's point of view and is the best in the collection. Each of the following stories visits Kerfol in a different century. Each character has some outside dilemma. It feels to me as if these dilemmas really distract from the real stor ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Katya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to recap the plot of the stories - the other reviewers have done that already. I'm just going to say that I really enjoyed the individual stories and the way they loosely wove together. The first and the last especially appealed to me.

Noyes is good at creating distinct characters and establishing their separate voices. Since the stories are all quite short, we get to know the characters in each tale just enough to give us a good sense of their personalities and histories and how t
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This group of stories is centered around a place, an old chateau in France called Kerfol, which was featured in a ghost story by Edith Wharton. The author has taken Wharton's story and retold it, then told other stories about encounters with the ghosts of Kerfol at various periods in history--the early 1800s, 1926, 1982, and 2006. The house affects people in different ways, and some later visitors to the chateau end up as ghosts there themselves. I liked the retelling of Wharton's tale and the t ...more
Jan 21, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-teen
What an impressive book! Very well-written, very different from the tons of Young Adult literature out there. Five interconnecting stories all revolve around the Kerfol estate (using Edith Wharton's story "Kerfol" as the influence). Five different narrators - two in first person, three in third - and a great sense of arc, of building from one story to the next, to the final climax and resolution in the very last story.

I haven't read anything like this in YA literature, and it's definitely worth
Sometimes visceral shivers, an exploration of the darker side of humanity and a little psychological suspense is exactly what I'm looking for in a book.

Deborah Noyes has written five short stories set in the same haunted mansion in Brittany. The first is a retelling of Edith Wharton's classic ghost story, Kerfol. It takes place in 1613 and is told from a maid's viewpoint. The young noblewoman Perette works for is terrified of her insanely jealous and much older husband. He ends up dead, apparent
Naima Haviland
Jan 04, 2013 Naima Haviland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ghosts of Kerfol is an anthology of ghost stories all set in one Renaissance French mansion. The stories range in chronological time frames from 1613 to 1982 and they're about people encountering the mansion's ghosts. The anthology is based on Edith Wharton's ghost story, Kerfol. The Ghosts of Kerfol is excellent. The protagonist of each story is very different from those of the others, and Deborah Noyes gives each a distinct inner voice, perspective, and reason for being at Kerfol. In a les ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is composed of 5 short stories....not really. More like one intricate well told story and then 4 smaller ones which serve no true purpose. I am spoiling anything- as this is on the blurb, The ghosts of Kerfol continue to haunt people lives centuries later. So basically the first story is the manifestation of the ghosts of Kerfol, how they came to be. It was good in my opinion, I quite enjoyed it. It has a bitter, mournful mood to it and i thought it was very suitable for the story. It ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Catherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
The concept of this novel really drew me in. Taking another persons story and wrapping your own around it in a very tantalising fashion. Each story is set a Kerfol, the home of a Baron who lived there in the early 17th century in the original story. There he was found dead on the stairs. Murdered. With scratches and marks like that a pack of dogs would create. But there were no dogs on the property at the time. Apart from the dead.
The following stories jump ahead in time, with similar circumsta
Moriah Williams
Aug 18, 2015 Moriah Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.
I came across it in the library when I was fairly young and it was one of the first books I could not put down.
I feel like it embedded with me so much that even as an adult I've been kicking myself in the ass for not remembering the name for the last ten years.
it's beautiful, haunting and mesmerising. there are parts of it that I still remember to this day perfectly because everything (but the name apparently) stuck with me that well and that deep.

if you like a lighter (I say l
Tiffany Kramer
Aug 23, 2016 Tiffany Kramer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going into this book I wasn't familiar with Edith Wharton's short story that served as the inspiration for this collection. I simply picked it up because I can't pass up a ghost story. I have since then read Kerfol and looking back I appreciate how Noyes expanded upon it. It was an interesting take on the classic ghost story, getting to see first hand how some of the hauntings began. I also loved that she played with the idea that hauntings are not bound to fallow a linear timeline. I wouldn't ...more
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! I went in thinking it was going to be something it wasn't and it surpassed my judgments. It is a series of short stories, all surrounding the ghosts of Kerfol (obviously ;)) and the first story is how it began which is very dark. I loved the Gothic feel of it and I was guessing until the end.

If you're looking for a historical fiction meets spooky story, I highly recommend this one. I think it would be good for all ages, not just middle to high schoolers.
Sep 05, 2014 Barbd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors (Deborah Noyes makes use of Edith Wharton's short story- Kerfol) do a good job of setting a place that feels timeless and haunted. Noyes uses the setting of Kerfol - a "haunted" castle - and tells a series of interwoven stories that take place from 1613 to 2006. Some of the stories work better than others - the ones that work best are those where the writing is less ornate and the scene setting moves into background so that the reader can focus on the supernatural shivers. A good rea ...more
Dec 29, 2010 Americanogig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A set of stories all surrounding the malignant manor of Kerfol. From the original ghost story told by a lady’s maid to a ne’er-do-well painter and heir apparent in the 1800s to a 1920s costume party and finally a trip by modern-day thrill seekers, each story still has the power to chill and disturb. If you have not read the original story, this is A MUST. The stories in this book will be just as good, but I am also recommending one of the better ghost stories I have ever read. Thankfully, this f ...more
Instead of thinking of Stephen King, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, this is a literary ghost story set, all riffs on Edith Wharton's Kerfol short story. I recently read Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Jade Green and I would put these two in the same camp - there's an air of spookiness and gothiness, but it's too literary to give you the jump that's lots of fun when you're reading something 'scary.'
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Deb writes for adults and children and is also an editor and photographer. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
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“Wasn’t it a puzzle? I’d grown up among peasants, yet it took a great house to teach me hunger.” 2 likes
“When the coach set me down before that avenue of trees – straight and stern with cicadas screaming in the tall branches – I saw no welcome for a starved brat missing her mama.” 0 likes
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