The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Many of the reviews posted for The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse mention other books that are like this novel in certain ways. The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier were both mentioned. (I haven’t read the first one, but loved the second.) I think finding similarities is a great way to discover new books, but hanging on to those comparisons can lead to false expectations.
The House at Midnight is about a group of friends. The house provides a place where these friends can live a lavish lifestyle apart from other people. It’s nice atmosphere, but the book’s about the people not the house. Their friendship started when some of them were in college and has continued as they’ve begun their careers. The book is written from Joanna’s point of view. She’s a writer for a tabloid and dreams of becoming a serious journalist. Lucas has inherited the house along with a great deal of money from his Uncle Patrick, the owner of a successful art gallery. He’s also inherited a number of psychological issues from a family with some serious problems. In some ways this novel is as much about memories of people who aren’t in the book as it is about the characters we get to know.
Although some of the characters, including Joanna, have real careers, they all seem happy to live and party on money they haven’t earned. Martha is the least self indulgent of the group and Lucas is the most, but all the characters have their flaws, at least all of the ones we get to know. I wouldn’t want to know most of these people, but it was interesting getting to know them in the novel.
I listened to the audio version which was read by Kate Reading (interesting name for someone who is the voice of many audio books). Her voice is sophisticated yet vulnerable and absolutely perfect for this book.
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