Just in time for the spooky season of Halloween, I read the novel Slade House by David Mitchell. This novel takes place during the month of October over a span of 36 years. I had read a review of the book when it was first published and was intrigued. The review ended by saying that this is not a typical haunted house.
The description on the book cover starts with the sentence “Keep your eyes peeled for a small iron door.” It is the kind of sentence that grabs your attention and draws you in. Very much like Slade House does to its guests.
The rest of the description from the book cover is as follows:
“Down the road from a working-class pub, along a narrow brick alley, you just might find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the residents of Slade House extend an invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside? For those who find out, it’s already too late…”
The reason this isn’t your typical ghost story or haunted house is because it is not scary in the sense of horrifying. It is more suspenseful. Like a Hitchcock film, the tension keeps building and building right up to the ending.
I have a conflicted view of the ending. It is brilliant and could lead to another book. On the other hand, I don’t know that I want this person to survive. If you have read or planning on reading this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on the ending.
I highly recommend the novel Slade House by David Mitchell. It is interesting and different. Magical in a new creative way. To me, it illustrates that all people are important. That life has value and meaning. I could relate to the characters and their lives. (However, there are two characters who view the lives of others only in how they can be used for their benefit.) The novel also asks questions about what we view as reality. How much of what we perceive is real?
If you are looking for a different kind of story, beautifully written with interesting characters and a hint of spooky, this novel is for you. Enter into the magical world of Slade House, if you dare.