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The September House

by Carissa Orlando

The September House by Carissa Orlando X
The September House by Carissa Orlando
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  • Published Sep 2023
    352 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for The September House
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  • Jo N. (Carlsbad, NM)
    Good gory haunted house story
    In this haunted house horror story, empty nesters and later-in-life couple, Hal and Margaret finally purchase a dream Victorian-style house in the middle of the country near (ish) a small town. At first, things are fine. They're renovating and redecorating but then things start to go downhill. Isn't that the way it always is for a haunted house?

    If you like slow-build, unreliable narrator stories with quite a bit of gore, you'll like The September House. This is Carissa Orlando's debut novel and it packs quite the punch at the end. The storytelling isn't linear so it's a bit hard to keep up with at first. Margaret is telling the story and it seems that when she remembers things, she describes them as if they're happening right now. Along with the horror aspects, Orlando touches on issues of alcoholism, domestic abuse, and mental illness. So if those things tend to be your triggers, you might want to stay away from this one. They are part and parcel of the entire story.

    I enjoyed the book. I love unreliable narrators. It was scary enough for me that I had to put it down a couple times but then I can be a weenie. Some of Orlando's descriptions reminded me of devices used in horror movies I've seen, so nothing really new there. The best part of the book as far as I'm concerned is the ending. I can see some good discussions arising from this.
  • Rebecca K. (Chicagoland)
    Dream home or haunted house?
    I read a lot of thrillers, and not as much horror (especially supernatural horror), but a good haunted house story is hard to resist.

    A few ghosts won't keep Margaret away from her dream home. Sure, they appear mangled based on how they were murdered, but the house is otherwise perfect! Well, aside from the blood dripping down the walls & the monster in the basement. Unfortunately her husband, Hal, wasn't willing to spend another second in the terrifying home. He left.

    Margaret's daughter Katherine is determined to find her father. She takes time off work to visit her parents' new house for the first time and look for him. Margaret tries to hide the fact that the house is haunted from Katherine, but not everything can stay a secret.

    It was difficult for me to relate to Margaret, as I'd definitely head for the hills at the first sign of blood dripping down my walls, but I still liked her. I also developed a fondness for a couple of the less-scary ghosts. Despite the gore, I really wanted to find out how the story ended so I was kept interested throughout.

    FTC disclosure: I received an eARC from the publisher via BookBrowse.
  • Kristen H. (New Bern, NC)
    A very twisty turn story to say the least. Held my interest all the way. Loved how the author was very descriptive of the characters. The husband's character was most impressive as the author did a great job of slowly developing his story. I did not guess that he was that way. Completely shocked. Cannot say more as this would definitely be a spoiler.
  • Vivian H. (Winchester, VA)
    A Real Page Turner
    The September House started out strong with Margaret & Hal finding their dream house, a stately Victorian that had been on the market for ages. Margaret loves the house despite the strange happenings that tend to peak during the month of September. Of course the perfect house is haunted with a collection of ghosts. And the basement is a mysterious place that is kept off limits.

    As the story develops it is evident that what is first presented as an idyllic marriage is anything but.
    It is when Katherine, the couple's estranged daughter come to visit, that the story becomes predictable.
    Nonetheless, the family saga rings true. Perhaps my own life experience explains why I found the final third of the book predictable.
    Ultimately, September House is a horror story that many families experience everyday behind closed doors.
  • Debbie C. (Sun Lakes, AZ)
    Kept my attention
    I do not usually read horror stories but this one was good. It captured my attention from the prologue. I loved Margaret's tenacity to solve the issues with the spirits in the house. I don't think I would watch it as a movie, but really enjoyed the book.
  • Inge M. (Long Beach Public Library, CA)
    A nice little horror story
    I enjoyed reading this book. In the beginning the author tends to repeat and overuse some things, but if you keep on reading, it is totally worth it in the end. At times a little gory, but certainly recommended for horror lovers!
  • Linda M. (Ocala, FL)
    What's Going on Here?
    The September House kept me up reading late into the night. Old, spooky Victorian houses, especially those with a turret can so easily capture our imaginations. But this old house is really unique. Never has a house been haunted by so many spirits who died in so many horrible ways. Even the ways they haunt the house are unique. The month of September brings out the worst in all of them. The book is hard to put down because the reader just has to figure out, "What's going on here?" It's definitely a book that will be enjoyed by readers who love a good haunting story.

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