Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” as Want to Read:
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  906 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Alone in the darkened house, with only fire's glow and thirteen flickering candles for illumination, silent except for the mounting chords of a Liszt concerto, Rynn was preparing a solemn celebration. Until a knock at the door shattered sanctuary.

Rynn is the little girl who lives in the house at the end of the lane with her father-or so she says. No one had seen the poet,
...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published April 18th 1974 by Coward-McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. (first published 1974)
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 The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bobby Underwood
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this decades ago and loved it. All these years later it still holds a special place among books I’ve read. Having lost or donated the hardback over the years, I was astonished to discover this out of print book available on Kindle, albeit far too pricey. Reading this again after so much time has passed I find it just as mesmerizing as I did when younger. While the protagonist is a 13 year old girl of striking intelligence, this is definitely not a book for younger children. In essence, it ...more
Julie
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig is a 1974 Coward-McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. publication.

A spine tingling, edge of your seat thriller-

Recently I picked up a book called Paperbacks from Hell, which explored horror novels written in 1970s and 80s. The book spoke of various popular horror novel tropes, with the 'Evil Child' being one of enormous popularity.

This novel may be one of the best to come out of that boom. While often placed in the horror genre, this book is not
...more
Sheri
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Rynn is a force to be reckoned with, independent and intelligent, she always seems to be one step ahead. Is she who you think she is? Is her father there or isn't he? Should you root for her? Is something sinister at hand? So many questions to keep you reading! A creepy and suspenseful read perfect for this time of year.
Rebecca McNutt
Also a 1976 film starring Jodie Foster, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is much like a very 1970's version of books such as Let the Right One In. It introduces readers to thirteen-year-old Rynn, a child who supposedly lives with a reclusive poet father (never seen), and her mother is dead... supposedly. Coming from England to a quaint American village, Rynn keeps to herself with nobody but her pet mouse for company. Around her first Halloween in her new town though, she finds her safe wo ...more
Willow
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I want to explain why I love this book so much, but I don’t know if I can put it into words. I guess I’ll start from the beginning. This is going to be a long rambling review, which probably nobody will read, but I’m compelled to write it. Lol

Anyway, I saw the movie The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane years ago on the late, late show. I was about fourteen and it became my absolute favorite movie. I could relate to the character of Rynn so well. Growing up in the seventies and eighties, my p
...more
Juli
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 1976 Jodie Foster starred in a movie that scared the crap out of me. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. A thriller about a little girl who knew how to survive....how to take care of herself...no matter what. I had no idea that this creepy-cool film was based on a book by Laird Koenig until a few days ago. Remembering the movie that seriously creeped me out, I had to read the book. Luckily, a quick check of openlibrary.org turned up a scanned copy available online.

This book is a serious
...more
Mary Pagones
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this when I was the title protagonist Rynn's age (13). Although Rynn does horrible things, it was hard for me not to identify with her character--she is cold, loves to be alone, feels alienated from children her own age, hates school, is entranced by words and poetry, has a pet rat, loves classical literature and music, and teaches herself foreign languages. I almost wish and still wish that she wasn't trapped in a thriller book but rather could be seen in a different, more le ...more
Kim
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Kind of strange but this is a "comfort" book for me. I like to reread it in the fall...drink a cup tea, eat some almond cookies, put on a little Franz Liszt...a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Rick Sanchez
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my first reads set on Long Island, NY! A sweet teenage romance mixes with horror in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. There's also a bunch of sinister characters like the Hallets, Cora (a snooty blackmailer) and Frank (a child molester), but there are also wonderful guys like Mario and his police officer uncle.
Pablo
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo mismo lo podían haber titulado en español "La niña que desayunaba con el Diablo", que habría sido igual de engañoso. (En serio, algún día alguien tendrá que hacer un análisis sobre las traducciones de títulos de libros y películas).
La sensacion que te domina durante todo el libro es la de inquietud, y en algún momento he dado un bote exclamando "qué carajo está pasando".
Si dejas de lado el comportamiento un tanto inverosímil de algunos adultos (esa policía...) es una lectura bastante recomen
...more
El
This was the book I decided to kick off October-Spooky-Month with because that cover is bad-ass and looks creepy, right?

Atmospherically-speaking, there's some creepiness to this story. I have not seen the movie yet (though I understand it has a young Jodie Foster?), but plan to try to get my paws on a copy soon because I would love to see how it's done on the screen.

Rynn is a young woman about to celebrate her birthday all by herself. She's interrupted by some creep who comes to her home and dis
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Creepy sad...maybe disturbing. (I never saw the movie.) the picture of a girl living alone and trying to get by. The pressure she deals with stays with you. The story, which of course I can't discuss without giving away spoilers is good/haunting. You can debate with yourself the sanity or insanity here. You will quite likely find yourself sympathizing with Rynn, but at the same time realize you'd be a little frightened by her. As she defends her own carefully constructed and isolated reality you ...more
Christal
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. As much as I love it, I have to say I think people who have seen the film version before they read it have an advantage over the people who haven't. The reader doesn't understand Rynn's motivations until halfway through the book, and to be honest, its kind of hard to root for the book version of Rynn until you understand why she's done what she's done.

The best part of this book, for me, is the author's writing style. I ADORE his turn of phrase. The book in itself is a simple st
...more
Rebecca
 photo LITTLE UK.jpg

In the 1970's, this book was made it into a cult classic movie of the same name starring Jodie Foster. I saw the movie before I read the book. I remember being 15 years old and discovering this movie at the video store. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the acting, the story. I probably rented it about 10 times after that, then bought it off of eBay for some exorbitant price.

The story was very appealing to me at that time in my life. Admittedly, my 5-star review may partly be some reflection
...more
Chrissie
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I liked Rynn quite a bit. She's too mature and too smart to really fit in with kids her own age and was raised to know how to be on her own and appreciate solitude. She likes poetry and classical music. She's a very unusual 13-year-old who views childhood as an annoying nuisance to overcome, not to enjoy. The biggest thorn in her side are the patronizing adults who belittle her intelligence. Then there are the nasty Hallets, who are, well, let's just say I certainly didn't weep any tears over th ...more
Stephanie
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who keep meaning to clean out the basement
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reel
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desde el comienzo me enganchó , el libro crea una atmósfera misteriosa y en lo personal no pude dejar de leer hasta al final.
Rynn sabe captar tu atención ; su inteligencia y audacia para salir de aprietos es increíble.
No es un libro muy rebuscado y su punto focal son unos cuantos personajes pero con eso es mas que suficiente, mantiene un clima de suspenso y creo que ese es el "porqué " de su atracción, siempre esperas EL BOOM , el que ayude a que todo haga click y no, no llega . pero llegaste
...more
Meghann
Un roman totalement hybride, porté par des personnages fantasques et diablement attachants, et par un sens de l'intrigue so British.
Cheryl DeFranceschi
I read this book many years ago and loved how haunting it was. Although some of the things are rather dated, the story itself remains as powerful as it was. And the movie is very very good and extra creepy.
Victoria
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved, own-and-read
OMG!!! Are you serious?
What an adorable quirky horrific story this was. Such impeccable thrilling writing.
I couldn't put this down at all, I tore right through it.
I also caught the scent of almonds dripping from the pages.
Unreliable adolescent narrator, but I promise, you are going to adore her! She is 13 years of age, English and lives in a big beautiful sparkling clean house, with a mysterious famous poet as a father. Somehow this charming teen has formed enemies although she has always kep
...more
Neil McGarry
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the smallest stories have the biggest impact, the The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is among them. Adapted by Laird Koenig from from his play of the same name, the novel is a few tumultuous weeks in the life of Rynn Jacobs, daughter of the famous poet Lester Jacobs and aspiring metrist herself, who lives in quiet seclusion on Long Island. Her father never seems to be around no matter who asks for him, but since Rynn makes such plausible excuses…

There's a paucity of characters: Co
...more
Selena Clements
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I got this exact copy, and a copy of The Thornbirds from my mother when I was young.

I carried it throughout junior and senior high school. I read it so much, the dust jacket is held together by tape. They are the only 2 books which I can say that I drank every word. It felt devilishly good to read it. Rynn... wow.

I still read it from time to time... and it's still sinfully good.

And I still eat almond cookies with tea...

Addy
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very clever ending
Elisa Vangelisti
Non lo leggevo dall'adolescenza, quando me lo prestò un'amica. L'ho comprato da pochissimo perchè è collegato in qualche modo ai miei romanzi. Esattamente come lo ricordavo, non è di certo un capolavoro, ma per me ha una complessità di significati che vi risparmio. Mescolando la lettura al ricordo del film, che si discosta pochissimo dal testo originale, vedo le scene e ascolto la musica assorbendo da quel personaggio una parte della mia me stessa di molti anni fa. Il cognome di Rynn Jacobs non ...more
Kris
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another part of my quest to read books connected to great old movies.

I was a little reticent to start this book because of its creepy premise. I'm glad I did though because I found the writing to be wonderfully descriptive. I could completely picture everything going on and it created a wonderful atmosphere.

The book really brought out the suspense element of the story. You could really feel the growing tension and fears of the main character. You could also feel her growing affection for her n
...more
Jo-marie
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unexpected, creepy creepy undertones throughout
Steph
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen
Now this is my kind of book! A few years ago I saw the movie starring Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen and I fell in love with it, especially the way it was filmed as it reminded me of other favorite ‘70s/early '80s moody/horror films like the original Stepford Wives, The Omen, The Changeling, What Ever Happened To Aunt Alice, and of course, Carrie, where normalcy is shattered by sinister happenings. So I entered the book knowing exactly what was going on, but still this story has an intriguing and ...more
Amai
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mario and Rynn 3 34 Apr 23, 2017 05:00AM  
  • Bad Seeds: Evil Progeny
  • Bad Ronald
  • A Candle in Her Room
  • The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories
  • The Child Who
  • Pin
  • Single White Female
  • The Lovecraft Anthology, Volume 1
  • Missing You, Love Sara
  • This New & Poisonous Air
  • Put What Where? Over 2,000 Years of Bizarre Sex Advice
  • Ludwig Revolution, Vol. 1
  • A Mirror for Witches
  • Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke
  • Honour Thy Father
  • Ghost House
  • The Devil's Garden
  • The Amulet
14 followers
Laird Koenig (born 24 September 1927 in Seattle, Washington) is an American author. His best-known work is The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, a novel published in 1974. The novel was adapted into a movie starring Jodie Foster. He also wrote a play based on the novel.
“The night, a living presence, was in constant motion, shifting itself, sighing, breathing. She wondered if perhaps it, too, was trying to get warm.” 5 likes
“Giving and taking comfort in everything they could give and take, every part of them sought to make themselves one till it was impossible for either to know the comforter from the one being comforted.” 3 likes
More quotes…