The Children's Home

The Children's Home

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A "disquieting" ( The New York Times ) and mesmerizing tale from an award-winning British author about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor--a tale that "[stirs] the imagination in the manner of Roald Dahl or C.S. Lewis" ( Winnepeg Free Press ).

In a sprawling estate lives Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins. Morgan spends his days in quiet study, avoiding his reflection in mirrors and the lake at the end of his garden. One day, two children, Moira and David, appear. Morgan takes them in, giving them free reign. Then more children begin to show up.

Dr. Crane, the town physician and Morgan's lone tether to the outside world, is as taken with the children as Morgan, and begins to spend more time in Morgan's library. But the children behave strangely. They show a prescient understanding of Morgan's past, and their bizarre discoveries in the mansion attics grow increasingly disturbing. Every day the children seem to disappear into the hidden rooms of the estate, and perhaps, into the hidden corners of Morgan's mind.

"A one-of-a-kind literary horror story" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review), The Children's Home is "an absorbing and dream-like narrative that recalls both the pastoral gothic of Shirley Jackson and the dystopic vision of John Wyndham" ( Columbus Dispatch ). "Written with charm and restraint," ( The Missourian ), Lambert's American debut weaves elements of psychological suspense and neo-gothic horror to reveal the grotesque--as well as the glimmers of goodness--buried deep within the soul. "This genre-bending horror story is sure to haunt you in all the best ways" ( Bustle ).
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2017
Edition: First Scribner trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9781501117404
Characteristics: 210 pages


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Nicr Nov 21, 2016

Peculiar little supernatural story--a dark, dream-like fairy tale. A weird page-turner.

Aug 15, 2016

I enjoyed the ambiguity of the direction of this story - i had to keep changing my guesses as to where this was going but i really liked the book. It was quite different from what I usually read, and so much the better for that.

multcolib_karene Feb 21, 2016

A gothic-y fairy tale.

Nov 12, 2015

The Children's Home is fairly engrossing, although so much of it is mysterious that it's not the easiest book to figure out. It's a great read if you're looking for something that makes you think and reflect on deeper concepts. It's got delightfully gothic elements (evocative of Henry James, mostly), but it's primarily a fiction.

I've seen it compared to works by Neil Gaiman, which I'd agree with because of the lyrical word choice and "less is more" approach; I've seen it compared to works by Edward Gorey, which I disagree with because it goes very deep and isn't self-reflective.

I'm still awed by how Lambert was able to weave a multi-level story from what few facts and reality-based touchstones are in this novel. It shouldn't have worked, but it did. And it worked so well that I read it in less than a week, and then had to sit and ruminate on it for another week. And it definitely didn't go where I was certain it would.

This is a book that will keep you guessing, and if you're open to not knowing where the author is going, to surprised and suspension of disbelief, and revel more in the deeper concepts than the surface story, I think you'll enjoy it. It's definitely well-suited to winter (it's published 1/5/16- I read an ARC), and I recommend it for fans of gothic multi-layer lyrical fiction.

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