The House of Small Shadows

The House of Small Shadows

Book - 2014 | First U.S. edition.
Average Rating:
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"Catherine's last job ended badly. Corporate bullying at a top antiques publication saw her fired and forced to leave London, but she was determined to get her life back. A new job and a few therapists later, things look much brighter. Especially when a challenging new project presents itself -- to catalogue the late M. H. Mason's wildly eccentric cache of antique dolls and puppets. Rarest of all, she'll get to examine his elaborate displays of posed, costumed and preserved animals, depicting bloody scenes from World War II. Catherine can't believe her luck when Mason's elderly niece invites her to stay at Red House itself, where she maintains the collection until his niece exposes her to the dark message behind her uncle's "Art." Catherine tries to concentrate on the job, but Mason's damaged visions begin to raise dark shadows from her own past. Shadows she'd hoped therapy had finally erased. Soon the barriers between reality, sanity and memory start to merge and some truths seem too terrible to be real ..."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781250041272
Branch Call Number: NEVIL
Characteristics: 374 pages ; 25 cm

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j
jachayden
Feb 06, 2017

Terrible! Very weird and meandering tale. Nothing makes sense, nothing is well explained, not a single storyline was completed or even explained. The main character, Catherine, is likeable enough but trying to understand her backstory and her current journey is as enjoyable as having your teeth pulled. This author cannot finish a line of thought or an description of place/action to save his life. Extremely disappointed by this book. Can't believe I wasted 370 pages worth of time and eyesight.

p
Pisinga
Sep 07, 2016

Victorian, Gothic house... Some certain moments are reminiscent of Stephen King's "Carrie"...
You want to continue to read in anticipation of the unexpected outcomes...
All this lasts three fourth of the book. And then it begins incomprehensible nonsense, the sick imagination of the author, and just on that note the book ends.
I would not call the book’s genre as a horror novel. For me there is nothing frightening.
Could be named just “The Red House”

i
ItsJustAmy
Oct 27, 2015

The dolls made my tummy sick, but in the best way possible.

p
periodicreader
Jul 22, 2015

The protagonist in The House of Small Shadows is a woman named Catherine. She is down on her luck, as her last job did not end very well, but she is gainfully employed again and about to begin a very exciting project of cataloging the collection of rare dolls and puppets created by the late and eccentric character, M.H. Mason.

His home is now being looked over by Mason’s niece, Edith, and her caretaker/maid, Maude. Both women are creepy to the bone and so is Red House itself. There are so many secrets hidden behind locked doors and even looking through a window can make you wonder where reality has gone.

The collection of items that Catherine has been asked to appraise and catalog is mostly of old dolls and taxidermied animals, some of which are in dioramas depicting very graphic scenes from WWII. Edith feeds Catherine the information that she desires her to know, and rarely answers the questions that are asked of her, including when the work on the appraisal can begin.

Adam Nevill can write, that’s for sure. There was plenty of build up in the plot before everything, flashbacks, conversations and happenings, started to make sense, but I was never bored or wishing for things to be hurried along. I savored every single word and when the last page was turned, I wished that there were a thousand more.

d
Deacon01
Dec 18, 2014

Loved the first part of the book, very creepy. The ending was a little confusing. Worth a read if you like horror fiction.

l
legadillo
Aug 06, 2014

The first third is very good. Creepy, unique, and vivid. But the last third is just a chase and the end is predictable.

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