The crumbling summerhouse called Wild Fell, soaring above the desolate shores of Blackmore Island, has weathered the violence of the seasons for more than a century. Built for his family by a 19th-century politician of impeccable rectitude, the house has kept its terrible secrets and its darkness sealed within its walls. For a hundred years, the townspeople of Alvina have prayed that the darkness inside Wild Fell would stay there, locked away from the light.
Jameson Browning, a man well acquainted with suffering, has purchased Wild Fell with the intention of beginning a new life, of letting in the light. But what waits for him at the house is devoted to its darkness and guards it jealously. It has been waiting for Jameson his whole life…or even longer. And now, at long last, it has found him. From the Sunburst and Aurora Award-nominated author of Enter, Night comes an unforgettable contemporary ghost story in the classic tradition of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.
I went in expecting a scary ghost story and ended up with a ghost story that makes you think. Good stuff. Can't say why for fear of spoilers! :)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Wild Fell?
The narrator was very robotic. I'm going to try to get it from the public library.
Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Rowe again?
Only if it was another narrator.
Would you be willing to try another one of Gary Dikeos’s performances?
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The story sounds interesting but I couldn't get past 30 minutes because of the narration.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I completed Wild Fell by mostly listening to the audiobook and a little by reading a hard copy. Right off the bat, I want to say Wild Fell is a great novel that is about as straight forward of a haunted house/ghost story you can get. This is my second Rowe novel and I am comfortable saying the author is a gifted storyteller. Both books I have read by Rowe contain classic tropes (Vampires/Ghosts) but still manage to remain compelling and original thanks to the author’s skilled prose and refined character development.
The novel opens with a superbly executed prologue that introduces us to the haunted nature of Blackmore island and what it is capable of. After that, the story becomes a coming of age story you may find in a King book or other ghost stories. Again, Wild Fell stands out from these due to the quality of Rowe’s writing and the darkness it conveys. I was captivated the entire time by the story and honestly, it was over before I knew it. I did like the ending, I don’t want to give it away but I will say it is an eerie and disturbing one. Despite the underlying creepiness of the narrative the story still explores the topics of love and family in a delicate and nuanced manner.
If you are a fan of ghost and haunted house stories then please pick up Wild Fell in one form or another. As I mentioned before I took in most of this book via audiobook and it is read well by the narrator, but the way this story is written it will be easy to follow no matter the mechanism of intake. I love and have read a ton of ghost stories in my day and Wild Fell will be high up on my list of recommendations. I do not think it would be unreasonable to compare the writing in Wild Fell to that of my favorite writer of ghost stories, the great Michael McDowell. So if you are a fan of McDowell I suggest you pick up Wild Fell. Chizine continues to remain one of my favorite (if not my favorite) publishers of quality horror fiction. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Rowe’s work.