Florence and Giles by John Harding

Hold on to your hats people – it’s another sensational book. I will say – I always find it hard to stick to my subtitles when I love a book because just want to be like ‘Ohhhhh lordy you need to read it’…but I’ll stop rambling now and tell you about this fascinating novel.

About the plot

The Gothic narrative is from the mouth of Florence, Giles is her younger brother. The two are unbelievably close when Giles gets sent away to boarding school. Seemingly a target for bullies he is sent home to be home schooled. The result of this is a governess comes to the manor to teach him, yet due to unfortunate circumstances this does not last for long and a new governess arrives. But is it a new governess? Is she haunting the manor or is it Florence’s imagination? Will the governess harm Giles, or is the cat and mouse situation merely a figment of Florence’s imagination?

Why you should read it & my personal response

I could say see above (!) but that’d be a poor attempt at humour. This novel is real edge of your seat stuff, I couldn’t for the life of me put it down. Whenever I picked this novel up the hours would fly by (does this ever happen to you?) I even found myself forgetting to breathe at times. Florence’s narrative is intelligent, and a breath of fresh air with her fabricated vocabulary. You will find yourself questioning the authority of her narration – after all, aren’t all twelve year old girls scared of ghosts? The novel isn’t fast paced, but it turns without you even noticing so there is no way that you could guess the ending. I found it to be haunting and intriguing, and I’m sure you would too.

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