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House of Echoes

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,350 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
When Joss Grant inherits Belheddon Hall in Essex from a mother she never knew, she and her husband, Luke, move in with their young son, Tom. All Joss knows of the house is that her two young brothers died there many years ago, but local townspeople whisper of a curse on both the house and Joss's family. Something is definitely wrong: the laughter of young boys echoes throu ...more
Paperback, 476 pages
Published 1997 by Signet (first published 1996)
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Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I do admit that this book goes on for about 100 pages longer then it should. And the female protagonist, Joss, too often lets her husband and sister walk all over her. Lyn, the sister, is one of the most annoying secondary characters I've ever read. And there is a repetitivness that comes into play about 3/4 of the way through...

With that being said....
Still one of the creepiest books I've ever read. Erskine manages to create a subtle feeling of spooky, building tension that makes it very hard t
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying haunted house mystery.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing like a good old ghost story...! Lots of tension here so don't read this if you're wanting a 'light read'; it's not and it may play on your mind once you turn out the lights! Chilling and atmospheric, this manages to get beneath your skin in the most subtle ways. Involving children in the tale is always going to add that unnerving edge to the story and that is certainly achieved here. I'm deducting a star from the ratings merely because of the ancestry; there's a lot to remember and it's ...more
I've read two of this author's books, and, quite frankly, that was enough to make me avoid the rest of her work. It's not Two different novels by the same author using the presumed-to-be-hysterical-woman-whom-the-men-don't-take-seriously-despite-clear-evidence premise may just be unfortunate sampling on my part, but, why take the risk?

Again, she started with a good idea, but the execution is lacking. I once saw a review for this where the person said it was just well-writt
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
'House of Echoes' by Barbara Erskine for me was one of the best reads I have had in a long time.

If you love historical mysteries that surround an ancient house from a distant family full of sheer terror on every page this is the book for you.

I was given this book by my mother, who usually reads those supermarket sagas about girls who grow up poor in liverpool or some other shitty town in England in the 1800's who have been raped and left for dead then meet rich men blah blah more tragedy blah bl
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED Midnight is a lonely place" as it was the first one i read but i think all the books by this author are the same and i have read 3 so far. here is the plot for all:

1) Old house
2) Middle Aged Heroine
3) Ghost trying to fuck her up
4) everyone thinks she is mental until there is a storm.
5) The storm reveals all.

Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fic, paranormal
In the mood for a ghost story? Put your overworked sense of reality into a state of suspended animation, and read about a haunted house in Essex, England. Jocelyn Grant's husband has lost his business due to his underhanded partner, when, serendipitously, Joss goes on a search for her birth mother, finding not only her roots but an inheritance in the shape of her ancestral home. Of course it's haunted - there'd be no story otherwise - and some of this novel is rather overdone. As other reviews h ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first novel by her and after this I have read every book of hers. Her storytelling has you gripped with every sentence, this was no different. This will hold a special place in my heart and would recommend this book to everyone I know!
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I read this as a small child (despite being told it's too grown up for me) but I remembered it vaguely since then and wanted to read it again!
I think a lot went over my head as a kid!
My now impressions:
I still enjoyed it, the suspense and spookiness builds nicely, but not in a lose-sleep kind of way. The characters were diverse (hated Lyn, liked Jimbo).
The style of writing is a little dated now, but still holds up.
Ending felt a little rushed, and one really odd random thing that happened midway
Reindert Van Zwaal
A very nice ghost story with a sublime build up unraveling just a bit more of the mystery every now and then. From halfway on I was completely lost in the story and could feel all the tension present in the book itself.
I think you must have at least some connection or fancy with ghosts or supernatural things in order to fully enjoy the story.
This would be an excellent ghost story to read at Halloween! I got a little confused at the end but overall enjoyed it immensely. It reminded me of The Haunting of Gad's Hall.
Heather King
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spooky, but a very good read.
Charlotte Dale
3.5 - Definitely a page-turner and not one to read when you're alone in the house (as I stupidly was whilst reading it), but somewhat full of cliches.
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine
Ora portanto, tendo em conta que já tinha lido dois livros da autora, um que adorei e outro que enfim, não sabia muito bem o que esperar deste e portanto comecei a lê-lo com algum receio.
No entanto fui completamente surpreendida e arrebatada! Adorei a história, todo o mistério em que a casa está envolta, o diferente leque de personagens que a autora nos dá a conhecer (desde personagens que não acreditam minimamente em fantasmas,até aquelas que a sua vida em determinada altura parece não girar em
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joss inherits a house - Belheddon - completely out of the blue. The inheritance comes just at the right time when Luke, her husband, has lost his job and they need to find somewhere cheaper to live and where he can set up a new business. The house is very old and seems to have a bad reputation in the village but Luke and Joss and their small son Tom are determined t0 make the best of things and turn it into a family home.

What follows is a nightmare with Joss being aware of voices and what her so
Sara Giacalone
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
(Three and 1/2 stars) I was in the mood for a supernatural thriller with a bit of history a la Seyton's Green Darkness or du Maurier's The House on the Strand and, for the most part, House of Echoes fit the bill. Being adopted myself I loved the idea of inheriting a 13th century house from birth parents, and the house having a reputation of evil happenings only makes it better. The story was suspensful and a little bit scary, but nothing that kept me up at night (except to get to the end of the ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was definitely one of the better stories from Erskine.

Joss is a gutsy heroine, who is discovering the family and the house she never knew. This is a magical and extremely sinister tale and may have trigger moments for those who have been adopted or abused.

Joss is surrounded by a cast of characters I found rather hit and miss. She also seems to have quick pregnancies. Her family are the least supportive strangely, and it is ex work colleagues and new friends that make the attempt to really a
Tory Wagner
Barbara Erskine creates an eerie atmosphere in House of Echoes. It's like watching a scary movie and screaming at the girl, "Don't go into the basement!". Joss Grant was adopted as a baby, but now married with a young son, she learns she has inherited a family mansion, Belheddon. She also learns that her mother fled from the home many years ago amid unexplainable circumstances. Joss and her husband and child move in and she soon is haunted by the voices of young children. As the story unfolds, t ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I liked that it took me to England and Paris-that's always a plus. The descriptions of the house were always good; it was exactly what you'd expect of a haunted manor in a small village in England. The people had distinct personalities and I got a real sense of their fear whenever something scary happened. There were scary moments throughout the book and that is what I'm after. I want a book to actually SCARE me! For all of this I give the book three stars ...more
Apr 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gladly suspended disbelief for the three days it took me to read this book. It's a creepy (as in haunted manor house in England) page-turner that made me feel like someone was watching me as I read late into the night. Ooooh.

That being said, the book goes on too long and some parts seemed somewhat repetitive, but I was entertained. It satisfied my desire to read something I could get into without having to think too much about it. However (SOMEWHAT OF A SPOILER AHEAD), I thought the last few c
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just literally finished this book about 30mins ago and although I was very entertained throughout, I found the ending quite lacking. Therefore I gave it only 4 stars. I find that Erskine quite often falls short at the finale of her books, almost as if she is desperate to finish. All in all I loved this book and found it very entertaining and scary!!! Really setting the mood for Halloween. However, i was disapointed by the lack of finality in the ending.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A standard Barbara Erskine horror story with a traumatized, attractive-to-the-opposite-sex heroine who appears weak, mad and spaced out while she's communicating with the spirits that haunt her. I felt empathy for her not so pretty, clever or lucky sister and a bit annoyed with the heroine who everyone was running around. A good and enjoyable read overall however.
I enjoyed this book - I'm not keen on anything too scary, so this delivered just enough of a chill to keep me reading. Mind you, I do have to admit I will never understand why any mother would keep her children in a house where there were so many unexplained goings-on affecting them! I'd have left almost straight away...
Dianne Landry
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It'S been a while since read one of her books but I was pleasantly surprised. Inheriting Belheddon couldn't have come at a better time for Joss. Her husband's business partner has embezzled all the company's assets and they have to give up their home. Of course she didn't count on the house's many ghosts keeping them company.

A thiroughtly entertaining read.
Mary Mathews
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good ghost story. Also, a good tale of family relationships and what makes up a family.

I had not read anything by this author nor have I ever heard of her. I was pleasantly surprised with my new discovery.
Rebecca tedder
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as fast paced as the previous Erskine book I read but an enjoyable tale of hauntings all the same and a book I would still recommend to fans of this genre.
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really creeped me out! Enjoyed it more than other Barbara Erskine books I've read though.
Carrie Hetherington
Barbara Erskine is my favourite author, I have all her books and would highly recommend each and every one. You won't be able to put them down! There are characters from the past and present intertwined in a single story, grounded in historical fiction and they're always full of ghosts. Gripping.
I ran out of steam with this book. While I love a good ghost story, this one dragged and the characters' behavior did not seem reasonable or believable to me. I might try picking it up again and skipping to the last few chapters just to see how it ends.
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
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