Today, Bookbabbler Aly shares a review with us..
The Poisoned House – Michael Ford
Abigail is a maidservant in Greave Hall, an elegant London household governed by the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs Cotton. Whilst the widowed master slips slowly into madness, Mrs Cotton gradually usurps the position of gentlewoman of the house. She wears his dead wife’s jewelery and clothes, entertains guests as though the house is her own and reserves her most despotic treatment for Abi. In the dead of night, Abi makes a desperate bid for freedom, but is soon captured and returned to Greave Hall. As Mrs Cotton’s malice intensifies, a ghostly presence distracts Abi with clues to a deadly secret. And Abi now realises that she can trust no one in the house.
Abi works as a servant at Greave Hall at a London home, under the scrutiny of Mrs Cotton, a wicked women who is hell bent on making Abi’s life a terror. Do not be fooled by her name because Mrs Cotton truly is horrible, there is something very sinister about her, she seems to have a grudge against Abi for reasons unknown. Abi’s mother was lost to her at a young age as well as her father, she is completely alone, although the workers at the home have known Abi ever since she was a child and hold a special fondness for her. Lately things have changed, objects keep going out of place and vanishing, strange occurrences which are unexplained are happening and the blame is always in Abi’s direction. It seems someone or something is trying to tell her something, but what and who?, frankly she doesn’t know what to do. I felt very sorry for Abi, because she is such a mature strong girl, it is easy to forget that she is merely 14, so young, yet she has been through so much.
I actually have no complaint about this book apart from the fact I felt Abi’s mother should have given her more clues whilst she had the chance. It was a steady read that I finished within hours, and like I suspected, it was quite creepy in parts which I rather enjoyed. What I liked about this book was how many of the situations are not explained until the end which leaves your imagination thinking all sorts of horrible things. As the master of the house falls ill, and hidden secrets start to emerge, Abi realises that the people who she loved and cared for deeply may not be what they seem. Not only is her future on the line, but her life, and it’s up to Abi to get to the bottom of it and find out the truth before it is too late. I did not expect the perpetrator to be who it turned out to be and I was actually saddened. This is a book that will definitely keep you on on your toes and guessing throughout.
Thanks, Aly and thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for sending us a copy.