World Book Day sees the publication of a new batch of Quick Reads. One of them is Lily, A Ghost Story by Adele Geras. I wouldn’t advise reading it just before bedtime. There’s a whiff of Rebecca about it, somehow, though the story line is different. I hadn’t felt as uneasy since reading The Centre in Adele’s A Lane to the Land of the Dead, a short story collection set on our home turf, Manchester. After The Centre I’ve not been entirely happy going into the Arndale, particularly certain parts of it. And I still think of the story whenever I go there.
This reminds me of City of Shadows by Celia Rees. I love her books and wouldn’t have thought there’d be any I’d avoid. But after reading the first volume, I have not gone on to read the next two. Cowardly, isn’t it?
Otherwise the most frightening book in recent years has been Philip Pullman’s The Tiger in the Well, the third book about Sally Lockhart. The first two weren’t exactly a picnic for Sally, but you sort of expected her to continue having adventures while surrounded by her trusty friends. And Sally being a capable kind of girl I fully thought she’d know how to look after her own child. But Philip Pullman peels away her friends and protectors one by one, and Sally turns out to know little of the practicalities of day to day childcare. And then the monster strikes. After a while I told myself this might be the last book in the series, and I’d just have to let (?) Pullman end it all with a big disaster.
Daughter couldn’t find anything scary about it at all. That should be a lesson to me for reading books not aimed at my age.