John Harding 2-Book Gothic Collection
A unique chance to read these two chilling Gothic tales from the brilliant storyteller John Harding together. Modern Gothic classic Florence & Giles and it’s sequel The Girl Who Couldn’t Read are a must for fans of Edgar Allen Poe.
A pair of Gothic novels that will chill and delight.
FLORENCE & GILES
New England, 1891
Alone in a crumbling mansion, 12-year-old orphan Florence is neglected by her guardian uncle and banned from reading. By day she secretly devours books, creating a unique language of her own invention and by night, she sleepwalks the corridors plagued by a reoccurring nightmare.
With the arrival of a new teacher, Miss Taylor, strange phenomena begin to occur. And Florence blames the new governess and fears for Giles’ safety. Without any adult to whom she can turn for help, Florence must use her ingenuity to both protect her little brother and preserve her private world.
Inspired by and in the tradition of Henry James’ s The Turn of the Screw, Florence & Giles is a gripping gothic page-turner told in a startlingly different and wonderfully captivating narrative voice.
THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T READ
New England, The 1890s
When a young doctor begins work at an isolated mental asylum, he is expected to fall in with the shocking regime for treating the patients. He is soon intrigued by one patient, a strange amnesiac girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read. He embarks upon a desperate experiment to save her but when his own dark past begins to catch up with him, he realises it is she who is his only hope of escape.
In this chilling literary thriller from a master storyteller, everyone has something to hide and no one is what they seem.
Praise for John Harding’s novels: -
”'Plentiful mysteries and good old-fashioned shocks punctuate this pacy and satisfyingly twisting coda” - DAILY MAIL
‘A darkly glamorous tour de force’DAILY MAIL -
'Harding rings enough ingenious changes on James's study of perversity to produce his own full-blown Gothic horror tale' INDEPENDENT -
”'An elegant literary exercise worked out with the strictness of a fugue: imagine Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw reworked by Edgar Allan Poe” - THE TIMES
”'Florence and Giles is an elegant literary exercise worked out with the strictness of a fugue: imagine Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw reworked by Edgar Allan Poe…Nothing prepares you for the chillingly ruthless but inevitable finale” - THE TIMES
'A tight gothic thriller… The climax becomes unbearably tense. Florence feels the horror of her situation 'cheese-grating' her soul, which is just how Harding leaves the reader feeling at the end of this creepily suggestive story.' FINANACIAL TIMES -
”'Harding’s creepy, ingenious tale slyly wrongfoots the reader, and its deliciously sinister conclusion is the stuff of troubled nights” - THE LADY
”'Brilliantly creepy” - DAILY MIRROR
”'An intriguing read” - GRAZIA
”'A good, clever, modern take on old-style American gothic; a creepy haunted house tale in which the living are just as eerie as any real or imagined ghouls” - NEW ZEALAND HERALD
”'a scarily good story, in an arrestingly unusual narrative voice” - THE OXFORD TIMES