"Julia will make your flesh creep...is Julia Lofting's husband coldly plotting to drive her insane? Is she unbalanced by the death of her child?? Or is she truly being haunted by the ghost of an obscenely nasty little girl who happens to inhabit the Loftings fashionable London House?..........." Cosmopolitan
This book is one of my favorite reads at 255 pages. It is an hauntingly beautiful tale--and the story comes together at the end. I was never quite sure whether Julia was being haunted or driven insane, or a little of both probably.
Very good read and written by Peter Straub.
Suspenseful and Terrifying, August 18, 2000
Reviewer: "kingsransom" (Como, Italy)
The book begins with a seemingly innocent scene: Julia Lofting, an attractive American in London struggling to reclaim her independence and begin a new life away from her domineering husband, catches a glimpse of a little, blond-haired girl. What normally would be an unremarkable moment has deep meaning for Julia, as this child resembles Kate, Julia's deceased daughter. Kate's death has never ceased to haunt Julia and it is also from this memory that she wishes to flee.
Almost immediately, Julia has very strange experiences in her new home as well as with the mysterious blond child. Julia attempts to make meaning of these events and at times doubts her sanity. Her struggle to understand it made more difficult by accidentally discovering the details of a gruesome murder of the past which took place in her new home. A murder, which parallels horrifyingly close to Julia's own life. As Julia learns more, she discovers a presence of evil which is determined to destroy her.
Readers of the author's previous work will find the action in this book to be higher paced, which is suitable to the story. The plot never drags and is always interesting. The characters are strong and very real. The author has also done an excellent job of creating an eerie and, at times, surrealistic atmosphere which adds to the terror of the story.
This is by far one of the best horror novels ever published. I recommend it to anyone interested in a frightening tale.
A nice book to read, but a little slow in parts. It has you wondering what's really going on behind the scenes, and the ending still has you wondering, "What if?" at the end. This is good for some casual reading if you don't want to scare yourself silly but want something a bit supernatural.
I find Peter Straub one of the most literate horror writers around and because of that special niche in horror that he occupies, he's one of my favorite authors. In this book, "Julia", Straub lets the horror build up instead of hitting the reader over the head with it. His timing is impeccable. The characters in this book really come to life; I felt like I knew all of them, especially Julia and Magnus, the husband she's running away from. The basic plot is a woman, Julia, haunted by the death of her young daughter, Kate, who also becomes haunted by the evil child ghost in the house she rents. Meanwhile, Magnus' sister Lily, who adores Magnus, plots against Julia so she can eventually have Magnus to herself. But this is done so subtly it took awhile before I realized Lily's own negative intentions towards Julia. In fact, Lily doesn't become Julia's foil until she sees Julia descending in what she thinks is madness and therefore is no longer a good influence as a wife for Magnus. The real evil is the ghost child who actually lived in the house that Julia has rented. Little by little, this child invades the house and eventually invades Julia's psyche. Out of her own guilt about Kate's death, Julia is passive before the malevolent spirit's evil assault, descending into a terrified state of mind filled with madness, some sexual perversion and a house that's falling apart. I couldn't put this book down and fortunately it wasn't a very long book though I would have liked a "happier" ending with a victorious Julia. But that's often what horror is all about.
Is she unbalanced at the loss of her child or is he trying to drive her crazy or is she truly being haunted in her own house?
This book is comparable to great ghost stories such as Shirley Jackson's Hill House. You wont be able to put it down it is so eerie. The people this woman has surrounded herself with are trying to get her money by driving her insane or IS there a ghost? Its really wonderful writing by the pro Peter Straub. Amazingly good.
Is Julia Lofting's husband coldly plotting to drive her insane? Is she unbalanced by the death of her child? Or is she truely haunted by the ghost of a nasty little girl?
A compelling horror novel about a woman who moves to London to put a horrible tragedy behind her, only to encounter a beautiful blond child who resurrects feeling of inexplicable evil.
An early classic, I'm told. It was OK, I guess.
Read this one eons ago. I remember thinking it was very creepy but also have a vague recollection that it was a bit slow in parts.
In a house in London a woman starts a new life, trying to put tragedy behind her. Then a pretty blonde child runs into view, bringing with her an inexplicable suggestion of evil.
Once Julia Lofting had a husband and a daughter. But everything has changed since she bolted from her marriage, in flight from the unbearable truth of her daughter's death. For Julia, there is no escape. Another child awaits, another mother suffers, and a circle of the damned gathers around her. The haunting has begun . . .-