Pam's Reviews > Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino
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Oct 06, 12

really liked it
Read from July 13 to 16, 2012

I confess, I grew up reading Gothic novels. The covers all looked the same. A dark and sinister looking mansion in the background and in the foreground an obviously frightened young woman fleeing from the mansion. More often than not, she is fearfully looking over her shoulder. The formula was the same, she was usually a governess hired after the death of the lady of the mansion, or she might be a young bride already married to the dashing lord of the manor, new step mother to his children.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling: A Novel fits that formula nicely. Charlotte Markum has been hired to be the governess for the two young boys of Henry Darrow, after the death of his wife Lily. Soon after becoming governess, Nanny Prum is found viscously murdered. Charlotte is afraid that this murder might have something to do with the mysterious man in black that she has seen in the past.

While taking the boys out in the forest one day, they stumble upon a dark area of the woods. They find themselves in "The Ending" - a place where nothing dies, and waiting for them is the boys dead mother, Lily Darrow. Lily invites them into The House of Darkling. At this point the novel takes a turn and becomes something more out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel and less of the tamer Gothic stories that I used to read. For "The Ending" is filled with strange creatures, almost human, but not. Charlotte finds herself in a struggle with Mr. Whately who is in charge of the House of Darkling. Much is at stake, as she weighs the boys need to see their mother, with the ramifications of that both at the Ending and back in the real world.

The plot did get a little confusing towards the end, with so much going on. However, it was confusing in a good way…it kept me questioning and interested. This is the author's first novel and I look forward to many more.
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