Working two jobs (and endeavoring to write more) doesn’t, on the surface, leave much room for a great deal of other things (especially reading) most days but, thankfully, there is enough routine (a nice way of saying monotony) in one of my jobs that it’s created a nice opening for me to both exclude myself from whatever chaos arises and still nurture my inner bibliophile.
Rainy, foggy, wet and dreary days seem to be the theme around all my environments lately, so I gathered that it was the perfect time to tell you all about my recent re-entry to Audible (that and I am making myself wait until I write this post to listen to another book and I am eager to get started on another one. ;))
It’s been years since I ventured into the land of audio-books and given my, almost nightly, penchant to get so stuck on trying to decide on what to stream that I end up watching an ‘old faithful’, I sought the recommendation of a trusted friend and avid listener/reader (Ben from X-Geeks) to help me get re-acclimated to the process and I’ve very glad that I did! This selection is just what I needed to get myself into the groove again! (Thanks Ben!!)
***There is a completely, spolier free, and shorter review in Audible for those that might want to read this selection for themselves (and if you do, I hope you enjoy it). All of my thoughts on The Secret Of Crickley Hall will be found below the image of the book cover.
From the moment I hit play and heard the voice of the narrator, David Rintoul, the widest of grins came across my face as I knew that I was in for a very good listen. His tone and style of delivery instantly pulled me in to the setting of the story, a moody manor house on the outskirts of a small, English, bay city.
Moody days, to me, consist of rainfall, overcast skies and fog in the mornings/evenings…most of the time, they are a favorite, so when the book opens with a description of this very scene, backdropped with a detailed layout of Crickley Hall, a character in itself, I found it very easy to become completely immersed.
Gabe and Eve Caliegh have come to this region of England, along with their daughters Loren and Calley due partly to Gabe’s work and also, as we find out pretty quickly, to give some space between themselves and their home in London, where there youngest child had gone missing a year prior. Upon arrival, the moodiness of their new accommodations is tangible, from the heavily flowing river, running under the only bridge crossing up to the house, to the wooden swing hanging from a nearby tree that seems to need no nudging at all to live up to it’s name sake.
The scene from here doesn’t get less comfortable as the Caliegh family makes their way through the house, begin to unpack and sort themselves out. It’s dark and damp. There are pockets of cold, sporadic strange smells and it makes even stranger noises, especially at night. Chester, the family dog, senses something isn’t right from the moment he sets foot on the property and does his best to warn them.
Crickley Hall has something to say and it wants to make sure the newest tenants know it. Gabe, Eve, Loren, Calley and Chester don’t know a moments peace from the time they arrive there, not even night one. Although brutal at times, it isn’t the weather that disturbs their sleep each night, it’s the story that lies within the walls around them and the longer they remain inside them, the more of that story is revealed.
Things happened there that left resonance, the kind of resonance that doesn’t stay buried or get washed away. What’s unsettled remains and wanders the halls, it even reaches out, no matter how far away one runs… “Thwish Thwack”
What follows in the remaining 50+ chapters of the book is one of the most chilling, thrilling and satisfying narratives, of its kind that I’ve read to date. I was immediately taken with the Caliegh family, especially Calley, who’s wide eyed wonder and imagination gave very dark and heavy content some light and levity. I felt a kin to Eve’s sensitivity of the house ‘speaking’ to her and likewise her persistence in finding the truth of it all.
Not to be left out, the villains of Crickley Hall, Augustus and Magda Cribben are as equally easy to form a strong disliking to and what is a story like this without extremely distasteful characters. The peek into what motivates the Cribbens was uncomfortable yet fascinating and completely driven by the narrator’s brilliant ability to capture each character’s voice and really let you hear them.
***I know I am still new to this, all things considered, but David Rintoul’s performance is exceptional and as much I am here for complete cast productions, it’s important to remember all the talented people out there that do/have done things
Surprisingly enough, I managed to get through this out without too many spoils, but I will share one more, special moment for me and it is the ending…
The final scenes set are full of bright light, heart, tears, peace and hope and, for me, the best scenes always are 🙂
I’ve gotten into a rhythm of letting myself be surprised by things these days. In other words, I don’t do too much digging. With this book, I hit play and stayed with it until the end, without adding anything additional to it. However, when I finished the audiobook and went to look for a few images to add to the post, I discovered it was made into a BBC series, that I might just have to find now and see if they did the book justice.
Have any of you read or watched The Secret of Crickley Hall? Let us know what you thought of it!