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Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

Gothic fiction

Starling House

by Alix E. Harrow

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Quick Take

Trick or treat? The new caretaker of this spooky Southern Gothic mansion may just have to find out the hard way...

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Multiple_Viewpoints

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Creepy

    Creepy

  • Illustrated icon, Rural

    Rural

  • Illustrated icon, Haunted_House

    Haunted House

Synopsis

I dream sometimes about a house I’ve never seen . . .

Opal is a lot of things—orphan, high school dropout, full-time cynic and part-time cashier—but above all, she’s determined to find a better life for her younger brother Jasper. One that gets them out of Eden, Kentucky, a town remarkable for only two things: bad luck and E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth century author of The Underland, who disappeared over a hundred years ago.

All she left behind were dark rumors—and her home. Everyone agrees that it’s best to ignore the uncanny mansion and its misanthropic heir, Arthur. Almost everyone, anyway.

I should be scared, but in the dream I don’t hesitate.

Opal has been obsessed with The Underland since she was a child. When she gets the chance to step inside Starling House—and make some extra cash for her brother’s escape fund—she can’t resist.

But sinister forces are digging deeper into the buried secrets of Starling House, and Arthur’s own nightmares have become far too real. As Eden itself seems to be drowning in its own ghosts, Opal realizes that she might finally have found a reason to stick around.

In my dream, I’m home.

And now she’ll have to fight.

Welcome to Starling House: enter, if you dare.

Why I love it

Old houses have a charm that never fails to draw me in. Who once dwelled within these walls? How many seasons of life and death, love and pain have bloomed and wilted beneath this roof? If such timber and glass and brick could talk, what words would they utter? So if you give me a story about a sentient old house, I will drop everything to get lost within those pages.

Enter Alix E. Harrow’s mesmerizing novel, Starling House. We are first introduced to a clever and tough-as-nails heroine named Opal and then the haunted house she’s been dreaming of since she was a girl. That house, which sits behind intricate iron gates, belongs to the enigmatic—and supposedly cursed—Starling family. But all the small-town gossip doesn’t stop Opal from taking a housekeeping job when she crosses paths with Starling heir Arthur.

Opal needs the money to send her younger brother to a prestigious school and out of Eden, Kentucky. A place where mist rises from the river at unexpected moments, the water tastes like rust, and accidents seem to happen frequently. But as Opal spends more time with Arthur in Starling House, the more secrets about the house and the tangled history of Eden begin to come to light. And with that truth comes a reckoning about home, love, and the people and stories that mold and make us.

Written in Alix’s trademark lyrical voice, this is a spellbinding book to savor and devour all at once.

Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction
View all