Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Visitors Book and Other Short Stories by Sophie Hannah

Do you enjoy a good ghost story at Christmas time? or any other time of the year? I confess I don't read that many ghost stories, maybe a couple of books a year. I have a friend who's a big fan of the genre, and she always recommends the best stories.
I haven't heard of Sophie Hannah until I saw a giveaway thread on Mumsnet.
The Visitors' Book and Other Ghost Stories is a small hardback.
I am in two minds about the stories. They are written skilfully and keep you wanting to read more, but some of them really left me confused. I wanted to ask "Is that it?" as I surely still had questions about the plot. Hannah definitely had clever plots in mind, but perhaps she was a bit confined by the space of the short stories.
There are four short stories in total, all unconnected and all with a modern setting.
A young woman who is visiting her boyfriend's house gets troubled and unnerved by the sight of the Visitors' Book which he wants her to sign.
A little boy at the birthday party who endears himself to the hostess.
A lady who gets very nervous by seeing a customer in the post office queue.
A mother who listens to all the vicious gossip about the other mothers in her daughter's class.
As you can see, the locations are not very Gothic or ghost-inducing. But as each story progresses, there is a supernatural twist to it.
The stories are quite creepy and unsettling ratherthan chillingly scary.
This book is a quick and easy read. If you have a spare hour during winter holidays, it might well be a good little book to enjoy, snuggled in under the duvet with a mug of hot cocoa.
And being a small hardback, it will be a neat little Christmas stocking filler for fans of the ghost story genre.

Disclosure: I received this book for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.

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