Monday, May 16, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle

I found this wonderful 1942 book while visiting a friend who was watching the movie of the same title.  I love this thrilling ghost story!  The setting is in England, so the language is all prim and proper as you see on the movies of this time.

It is the story of Pamela Fitzgerald and her brother, Roderick, who buy a house together. The house once belonged to Stella's parents. That is where her mother and a house servant died. It is they who haunt the house.

Towards the end of the book, they hold a seance to communicate with the ghosts. I do not endorse having a seance, but I thought it was fun to see the description. The following excerpt is from page 258:


       Ingram returned with his cards and laid them in a circle on the table in order; the alphabet was broken at opposite points by cards marked "Yes" and "No." He inverted a wine-glass in the centre and said that our preparations were completeNo hymn-singing, no plunging the room into darkness. I was relieved.
I thought this was fun to read because their game seems to be a card version of the Ouija Board game. It used cards rather than a board, and an upturned wine glass rather than a planchette.

And of course, there is a love story intertwined in all this: Roderick falls in love with Stella, but not until the end does he receive a shy kiss from her -- which seems to seal a marriage agreement!  Very sweet.

It was refreshing to read a complete novel with no mush and gush or gore!  It seems many of today's authors should take a lesson from Ms. Macardle: a complete story with full plot can be quite entertaining and does not need R-rated details (or worse) .  I do recommend this book.

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