Notes from a Reading Journal: “The Turn of the Key,” by Ruth Ware.

“There’s something about that house you know. It’s claimed more than one child. The doctor’s little girl wasn’t the first, by all accounts… Back when it was Struan House… The Struans were a very old family and not quite right in the head, by the end. One of them killed his wife and child, drowned them both in the bath, and another came back from the war and shot himself with his own rifle.” — P. 195

This was another BOTM selection for August. I have read comparisons of this book as a modern retelling of “The Turn of the Screw.” Rowan Caine applies for a live-in nanny post for three girls in remote Heatherbrae House, which is a remote historic home in the Scottish countryside. Sandra, the mother, warns Rowan when she applies that they have had four nannies resign in the past fourteen months and that the house has been connected to some local superstitions and tales of hauntings.

The book begins with a series of letters. Rowan is looking for legal counsel because she has been imprisoned for the death of one of the girls while under her care at Heatherbrae House.

The creepiness of the upgraded smart home with all of the cameras is a nice modern touch, and of course no one is who they seem to be at first glance. This tale will keep you guessing between the sources of madness. Is it ghosts; mischievous children; an intruder; a nefarious handyman; or is it really the nanny all along?