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House Of Echoes [Mass Market Paperback]

Barbara Erskine
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 1997
A woman unexpectedly inherits a beautiful English manor from the mother she never knew--a place where her two young brothers died many years ago. The locals whisper of a dire curse on both the house and her family, as eerie, inexplicable occurrences begin to threaten her own two sons. Now she is completely on her own to face a centuries-old malevolence--with the lives of those she holds dear hanging in the balance!.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

Supernatural chills and romantic sighs are Erskine's (Midnight Is a Lonely Place) stock in trade, but this outing finds her deficient in both categories. She concludes her latest romance-cum-spook story with a book review praising a first novel by protagonist Jocelyn "Joss" Grant for "leaving the reader clinging to the edge of his chair," but that's wishful thinking as far as this novel is concerned. Adopted as a baby, Joss tracks down her biological mother and learns she has inherited an ancient house in Essex. Ignoring the villagers' superstitious warnings, she moves into Belheddon Hall with her husband, Luke, and her two-year-old son, Tom. Unfortunately, the ensuing strange phenomena?roses left on pillows, and ghostly giggles?frighten Joss more than the reader. Then bruises appear on Tom's arms. Joss suspects ghosts, but Luke suspects Joss. Determined to discover the house's secrets, Joss researches her blighted family tree only to find that no male heir has ever inherited Belheddon. The problem, it turns out, stretches back to the 15th century, when a powerful witch, who lived in the house, cast a spell on King Edward IV that caused him to fall in love with her daughter, Katherine. Over 500 years later, the spell still binds an armor-clad King Edward, who spends eternity making love to all of Katherine's descendants (including Joss), while the bitter Katherine menaces the men of Belheddon. Just when Joss is on the verge of losing her sanity, a village psychic conveniently breaks the ancient curse with surprising ease, forcing an ending that is as illogical as it is happy. Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club featured alternate.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Faced with financial ruin, Jocelyn and Luke Grant at first view the surprise inheritance of an Essex manor house from Joss' birth mother as a godsend. But who really sent the centuries-old house where boyish voices echo, drifts of icy rose petals appear and then vanish, and a chilling shadow threatens the safety of Luke and his toddler son? When Joss' second child is born, also a boy, it becomes apparent that only the males in the Grant household are threatened, and suspicion falls on Joss. To clear her name and save her family, she must confront and defeat a powerful, ancient presence. Without being overly graphic or ghoulish, Erskine's third novel of the supernatural provides a sensual, shivery thrill ride through a classic English country house. Roberta Johnson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, Spine tingling. Feb. 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
I am a great fan of Barbara Erskine, this book was the best to date. When Luke and Joss Grant face financial problems due to Luke losing his business and their home, they cant believe their luck when Joss inherits a beautiful old house from a mother she never knew. Along with Tom their small son they move into Belheddon Hall. When Joss becomes pregnant with their second child they thought that their happiness was is now complete.
How wrong they were.Joss starts hearing childrens voices and white roses start to appear on her pillow.After the birth of her second son Ned, things really start to happen.Tom starts having terrible nightmares and mysterious bruises appear on his
arms and legs. When Ned disappears and is finally found in one of the attic rooms Luke begins to think Joss is responsible. As the secrets of the old house unfold Joss realises that her sons lives are in danger. She enlists the help of a previous colleague David and together they try and fight the ghosts that threaten them.
From the first page to the very last this book was compelling . The combination of terror and historic events made it very hard to put down. Thank you Barbara Erskine,for a wonderful read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been cut in half July 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love ghost stories and this is no exception. I won't go into a plot synopsis, because that's been done already. Ms. Erskine began with an interesting plot. Her writing is very atmospheric and there's that wonderful sense of impending doom. Some very clever juxtapostion of just who and what is doing the bad stuff. But, I have to say, the book was too long. It could easily have been cut in half. We spend Joss' entire pregnancy listening to poor little Tom screaming that the "Tin Man" is scaring the bejabbers out of him and other than that, nothing really happens. The stakes are never really upped enough to start sitting on the edge of your seat. I liked Joss, but she was a bit of a victim. Bringing Natalie in to clean things up was just too pat. Joss should have been the one to lay the ghosts to rest. It was her house and her children in danger. I thought she fluffed off her adoptive parents far too easily. They just became a non-part of the story. Lynn I wanted to slap, she was so one dimensional, and Luke needed a boot in the butt to wake up. I kept hoping Joss would leave him and get together with David who was far more interesting.
Yes, (G), I did like this story. I listened to the unabridged audio version. I love being read too, but even as much as I love it, as I said this work could easily have been cut in half to pick up the pacing and none of the story would have been lost.
This is my first exposure to Ms. Erskine and I did like this book well enough to try her other books.
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By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a beautifully written novel about a haunted manor in the English countryside. It is the story of a young, married woman, Jocelyn Grant, who inherits that country manor, Belheddon Hall, from her biological mother whom she never knew, as she had put her up for adoption a few months after her birth. Jocelyn, her husband, Luke, and her young son, Tom, happily move into the house, despite having heard warnings from the local townspeople that there is something quite odd about the house.
That happiness, however, soon turns to dread, as Jocelyn and her family begin to hear the laughter of young boys echoing throughout the house, as well as see physical manifestations of a knight in armour. Moreover, the scent of roses, at times, permeates the house, and someone or something keeps leaving white roses strewn throughout Belheddon Hall.
Jocelyn also begins to hear a ghostly voice calling out to someone named Katherine and finds herself being sensuously touched by someone other than her husband; someone whom she does not see, until it is too late. Her son, Tom, often sees an apparition, whom he refers to as the "tin man", and wakes up with bruises all over his body. Her fear is compounded when she realizes that no male heir has ever lived to inherit Belheddon Hall, and that the house has come down to her by strict, matrilineal descent.
Understanding the implications of her realization, and by now having two young sons about which to worry, she fights against the disbelief of her husband to combat the evil that lies at the root of the strange and frightening happenings at the Hall. How this is accomplished, and the story brought to its chilling climax, is what keeps the reader riveted to the very end. The book is absolutely gripping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Gripping Reading Dec 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After the other books by Ms Erskine, I did not think her writing could get any better but she has proven us wrong I thoroughly enjoyed House of Echoes from beginning to end. The story of Joss who inherits Belheddon Hall from a mother she never knew. All that Joss knows about the house is that two young brothers died there many years ago, but local townspeople whisper darkly of a curse on both the house and Joss's family. Joss and her husband and small son Tom move in, thinking the house is an end to all their troubles, but little do they know they are just about to begin, Joss start's to hear the laughter of two small boys and her son Tom start's too go into hysterics at the sight of a tin man. Intrigued from beginning to end this is a book that can be read again and again!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I'm a huge fan of Barabra Erskine and this book does not disappoint in any way!
Joss, a young woman with a new family, inherits an estate from her mother. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beach reading book.
I absolutely love ghost stories and this was a pretty good one. It was a little too long and drawn out but if you've got some extra time I would recommend it. Read more
Published on June 16 2000 by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I absolutely loved this book. It's suspenseful and a lot of fun to read. You can't put it down! I love the descriptions of everything! Read more
Published on April 20 2000 by Kimberly
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn....
I've enjoyed some of Erskine's work in the past, but this one was awfully dull. The characters were vapid, the story lacked suspense, and I found myself putting the book down... Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars ooooohh, don't read this alone at night!
I am a big fan of Barbara Erskine's. She really spooked me with this one! Naturally enough the only times I could find to read this one, were at night, husband asleep, the kids... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2000 by sallyann
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic/Spooky - Excellent!!
I have been addicted to Barbara Esrskine Books since the late 80's. Her best book so far (I think) is Child of the Phoenix, I was so captivated with this book as it incorporates... Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999 by yvonne bamford
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. The best ghost story I ever came across!
I received this book as a replacement for another last christmas. I could not put it down. 8 month later I have read every book by Barbara Erskine and am desperately waiting for a... Read more
Published on Sept. 8 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I have enjoyed all of Erskines books and this was no exception, at times it scared the hell out of me, who would stay in a house like that?? Read more
Published on Aug. 29 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars feel like being spooked?
I am a big fan of Barbara Erskine's. This spooked me! I deliberately did not read this book at night by myself! Read more
Published on Aug. 25 1999
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