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The House of a Thousand Lanterns

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  2,517 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Jane Lindsay never dreamed she would be wealthy. Nor that she would fall in love with a man she could not trust. Against the background of 19th-century England and Hong Kong, the story of a young Englishwoman in a strange new world unfolds . . .
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published July 1st 1974 by Doubleday (first published 1974)
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Jsmh I did the same and would highly recommend them to all teens and up. Also the author's series under her Philippa Carr pseudonym.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Buddy Read With Dorcas. :D

I'm not sure how I feel about this, it had a dramatic ending, but by George it took awhile to get there!

I guess the biggest problem was I wasn't ever afraid, it took to long to get the the scary parts, and by then I knew she'd come out fine. I don't understand why it took so long for the suspense to kick in, the first 3/4s of the book went in circles, was Jane in danger? Where was the secret of The House of a Thousand Lanterns hidden? Could Jane trust Joliffe? Could
Buddy read with Tweety.

I almost gave this 2.5 stars but it probably deserves 3.


For three quarters of the book I was waiting for something to happen. Oh, things happen but not suspenseful things. The most interesting thing was the Chinese lantern festival. That's something I would love to see. But until the very end I wondered if I was even reading a Gothic. Where was the chilling suspense?

and the characters...I just better shut up. No sense in banging imaginary heads together.

This isn'
Sep 07, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
I sought out this book because I found a picture of my mom reading it when she was holding me as a baby, so I felt a need to seek it out and make the connection between her during this time that I am experiencing now. I found it used on Amazon for one penny and couldn’t pass it up!

It started out like Downton Abby meets Rebecca, with the shadowy house, a new owner who is also a stranger, the downstairs help gossiping and longing for the old days. It then turned into more of a romance with a tinge
Nikki Waite
Jul 05, 2010 Nikki Waite rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! I don't know what it is about Victoria Holt, but it's always a fun, delightful read for me. She's a romantic thriller novelist, and apparently, that's a favorite genre for me. There's the intrigue of trying to figure out the mystery, but there's all the gushy, awesome romance that I need too. Her books are books that I can read over and over again.... and I do!
Apr 12, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Gothic romance, from Jane Eyre to the Gothic romances of the 60's and 70's. This book has Gothic elements to it, but is more like a romantic suspense novel, or could even appeal to historical romance fans. Despite being published all the way back in 1974, the story didn't have a dated quality to it, so don't let that deter you from trying this one.

Victoria Holt is one of my favorite authors, writing classic tales of suspense and romance that helped to develop the romantic suspense genre
Mara Shaw
Feb 25, 2012 Mara Shaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember Victoria Holt, Bev? Her books came endlessly through the Book Fair when we were teens and in retrospect I read too many. Wonderful historical escapist romances. Ahh... happy memories.

It gets 4 stars not because I'm sure it was great fiction, but just for the happy memories of blissful, long St. Louis summers rummaging through the thousands of dusty boxes of books in the barn being sorted for the Greentree Fair. I won't admit how many other titles she wrote that I read...
Aug 28, 2016 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sweet-nothings
This gothic is set in Victorian British Hong Kong. In addition to the mystery and adventure, you definitely get a feel of the city from the English point of view at the height of the Empire.
These stories will always be special to me because they were commuting mainstays during high school and lead me to other authors.
Dec 18, 2015 Carol marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Nov 26, 2011 Hafiza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my top 5 favorite Holt's.
Sabi Edwards
Loved this mystery book
Oct 05, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok
Shelves: pass-on
I used to like Victoria Holt, but this time through it was pretty bad.
Daniela Medina
For the first time in forever I read a book in just one night. And it feels good.

Insomnia is an issue that very rarely strikes me. I have always been a fast sleeper, the sort of person who falls profoundly asleep as soon as her head touches the pillow. But last night I was completely unable to access the Dreamland, thus I decided to do something productive with all the night hours I had to spare and picked this book - who had been waiting for me for maybe too long - from the shelf.

I bought the
Phil Syphe
May 03, 2016 Phil Syphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the contrasts between the English and Chinese settings. The author does a good job of bringing both these countries to life during the 1860s.

Of the characters I like Jane, who’s the narrating character and heroine of the piece. Mrs Couch is amusing, as is little Jason, Jane’s son. Joliffe, Adam, and Toby are all engaging, each impacting Jane’s life in their own way.

One thing that annoyed me for the first quarter/third of the novel was the repetition of a character’s full name and title,
This book was so atmospheric and I really liked the protagonist (or maybe the way the reader read the characters). This felt so much fun and more lively than the India Fan. I just really, thoroughly enjoyed it, and got wrapped up in the mystery and the suspense and the descriptions. Although Holt's characters never seem to fall in love with the people I want them to. :P

If you like "gothic romance"-style tales full of hidden passageways and underhanded plots and dark mysteries and hidden treasure
Aug 26, 2014 Carie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cut and pasted from my other Victoria Holt review (her books are quite similar, so this is completely applicable to House of a thousand Lanterns as well:)

Oh Victoria Holt. She has a formula and works it well. This book is very much like her others. You can always count on a young heroine, several suitors (but which one is best for her?), and a mystery/danger of some sort. You can also count on Holt taking a long, long time to get to the end.

This book started out fun (I adore vintage suspense no
May 13, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more Jane Eyre than the bodice-ripper romance I was expecting (dreading?). I spent a number of pages scoffing at the fact that the mystery was so simple (although the story was good enough as it was that I kept reading), and then I was totally blindsided by the actual ending. One complaint was that the ending felt rushed, and I was a bit disappointed that Jane didn't do more to attempt to save herself and her son from the Dread Tomb. (That's not actually what it was called.)
If you like the
Ghaida Alkhateeb
Well. I guess it could take a rating of 3, but Personally, I did not like it a lot. I felt while reading all the pages that the writer repeats herself a lot so I got bored easily and wanted sometimes to throw the book and quit reading it. There was no suspense, though the story was beautiful. I could easily knew what gonna happen next or what the writer would say.

I liked a lot the part about the Chinese Culture in every aspect. That made me eager to visit China, the feasts, the festivals, etc.

Apr 16, 2013 Alycia rated it it was ok
Had a great start to it, but then it plodded along and never delved into anything remotely mysterious until the very end (even then it was rather weak). I saw another reviewer mention that she (the author) often repeats herself...I, too, noticed this. It really gets on your nerves after awhile. She must have wrote 4 or 5 different times within a couple pages about the heroine wondering if the house actually had a thousand lanterns in it. Stuff like that throughout the entire book! I've wanted to ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Charybdis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it like I like all Holts. At the end I thought there was no way she could give us any other villain but the hero: everything pointed in his direction. I even didn't like him anymore, seeing him as evil. But of course I was wrong. The hero is never the villain, is he? I was sceptical when I went through the explications of who the real villain was and why, but after a while came to accept it as quite plausible. Kudos for Ms. Holt.
While reading I once again noticed the easy way in which sh
Aug 07, 2012 Rena rated it really liked it
This is Victoria Holt novel #3 for me. Even though it's my least favorite thus far, it was still a good read. It wasn't overly simplistic, but it was not a hard read either - just enough to keep me interested. I don't much care for the lead male in the story - he was kind of...soggy?...which let me down in comparison to her other novels.
Toni NB
Aug 09, 2012 Toni NB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-novels
I love Victoria Holt's novels...I thought this one particularly good. I think Holt did a good job with the character development (esp. the heroine). She gained insight about herself, and grew as the story went continued. Other gothic novels that I've read are very light, fluffy, and predictable after the first several pages. I like that Holt tries a little more with her stories.
Bella Lucin
Apr 17, 2014 Bella Lucin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first I've read from her collection of Books. I loved it and started searching for more of her books. Now since I discovered your site I can read them all!!But I still wont stop searching for the Books!!!
Jan 03, 2013 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic suspense, some light and interesting history, and some nice romance. Passion but without the vulgar overbearing language that over-explains what the imagination can easily supply. I loved this book.
Kathy G.
Aug 09, 2016 Kathy G. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to give this book only two stars. It had such a good premise: love, mystery, ancient Chinese customs and artifacts---- but it was boring and laborious to get through. The end was finally exciting--- but to get to it was very hard. Not worth the read.
Apr 01, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was growing up in the mid to late 70s, there really weren't "teen" novels and Victoria Holt was one of the authors my mother "approved" of me reading. Traditional Gothic romance, mystery and adventure, with no graphic sex.
Jul 24, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Although reading Victoria Holt after a long time is quite different than when I was a teenager, I was still pulled into the story. And like always, I love the historical details and the ever-present creepiness.
Oct 01, 2014 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had the usual Victoria Holt twists but she repeated herself so many times. I kept thinking, "We know this already! Get on with it!" I would still recommend this book but I think it's my least favorite book of hers I've read so far.
Mar 17, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read all of Victoria Holt mystery/romance books in my 30s. Holt books are a higher caliber of romance fiction than something like Harlequins. Historically accurate. Good recreational reading with something to keep you turning pages.
Apr 03, 2016 Neja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-childhood
Books written by Victoria Holt are so cheesy, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I've read a loooot of her books when I was 14/15 years old..that was the last time I've read them. I absolutely loved them at the time. I'm thinking of reading one of her books just for the old times sake! =)
Sandra Koehler
Mar 15, 2015 Sandra Koehler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book completely. A moving book. I went to a used book store and had them pull every book by this author out of storage so I could have them. It could be considered a quiet or slow book for some. I had no trouble being emearsed in this book.
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The House of a Thousand Lanterns 4 14 Jan 03, 2014 06:58AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subjec
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