The Watch House

The Watch HouseThis is one of those stories that throws you right into the action I loved how you could easily relate to anne and her emotions When she discovers something strange about the watch house, you will be captivated by her journey and will always be wanting Great read The Watch House is the first of Robert Westall s ghostly novels for young adults in the back of the book he says I always wanted to write a ghost story As such, its take on the supernatural isn t quite as nuanced as some of his later stuff It really reads a lot like a Nancy Drew esque YA mystery story albeit with all the usual Westall touches , only with an added ghostly presence That said, toward the end, there are some really good supernatural bits.He s got an interesting take on the idea of a ghost here, with his claim that Human beings are spooks plus Why shouldn t they sometimes win I, of course, prefer my supernatural a little on the inexplicable side, but then, in the last few pages, we re given something that makes the haunting a little less explicable than it at first appeared, so that s nice.All in all a good book, though not up to the mark of Westall s best stuff For a really fine supernatural yarn from him, I suggest The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral. I got this book from someone who had a big pile of them to give away I figured, 70s horror is cheesy and fun, this is probably a very dated win.What I did not realize was that this is a young adult occult novel, and it delivers The theme is loneliness the loneliness of being the new kid in town, of being the weird kid, of being in an isoltated place, of being a priest, and of being a ghost.The main character, Anne, is a teen of unstated age Her mother has dropped her off like a package to stay with Prudie, her mother s old nanny, and her brother Arthur, at the Brigade Cottage of the Life Brigade, a volunteer force that is dedicated to saving people whose ships wreck along the seashore The Watch House of the title is full of memorabilia of the Life Brigade, including a human skull which becomes the focus of the haunting Anne herself is snarky without being too self pitying or self centered I found her a highly sympathetic teenaged character The novel isn t too dated, and I enjoyed it immensely. Some clever twists in a straightforward tale of late 70s teen angst set in a small seaside town Plus a ghost being haunted by another ghost, which is pretty fun Classic Westall. A little uneven in places, and quite difficult to recommend for children under the age of 15 there s a reference to rapists in the first page, and a few other moment that gave me pause On the whole it s an excellent ghost story, though, with some truly deft touches. Not Westall s best in terms of plot or organization, but he s still a wonderful writer The prose just flows so easily and the sense of place makes up for a bunch of cliched twists including the fact that the grownups have to come to the rescue at the end. Quite disappointing This is a rather run of the mill ghost story with few chills and no characters of any great interest It has none of the brilliance of Robert Westall s beautiful war time novels, The Machine Gunners and Blitzcat Those two novels are first rate This one, sadly, is not. When an upset teen has to spend the summer with her elderly relatives in a coastal English village she encounters disturbing spirits in the lighthouse She and her new friends work to unearth the mystery behind the ghostly activities, and have to figure out how to make the spirits rest I usually like these types of books, but had a difficult time reading this It takes a long time to develop the characters and tension, and the language seems dated and stilted I would not recommend this to teens unless they are reading at a very high level and appreciate this style. I recently had the pleasure of watching the Children s BBC adaptation of this Robert Westall novel It was made back in the 1980s and sticks closely to the source material, while excising certain sub plots in order to bring it into a three episode running time gone are the priests, for example Both book and TV series have exactly the same creepy atmosphere, vivid setting, and effective historical ghost story in which the youthful protagonist, Anne, must solve a strange double haunting that carries down to the present day As with most young adult fiction of the late 20th century this was written in 1978 , Westall s story is brief and to the point, surprisingly deep when it comes to character and setting, and very engaging. Alone And Unhappy In Garmouth, Anne Becomes Obsessed By The Old Life Brigade S Watch House It Stands Tall, A Memorial Of Horrible Violent Watery Deaths Such A Place Is Bound To Be Full Of Restless Spirits Of Long Dead Sailers But What Do They Want With Anne Who Is Writing In Messages In The Dust And Is There Someone Watching And Waiting Behind The Empty Windows Of The Watch House

Librarian Note There is than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.Robert Westall was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England in 1929.His first published book The Machine Gunners 1975 which won him the Carnegie Medal is set in World War Two when a group of children living on Tyneside retrieve a machine gun from a crashed German aircraft He won the Carnegie Medal again i

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  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Watch House
  • Robert Westall
  • English
  • 14 October 2019
  • 9780330398633

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