A House with Good Bones by T Kingfisher

My Five Word TL: DR Review : I’m loving this author’s work

A House with Good Bones

A House with Good Bones worked really well for me, it’s a Southern Gothic horror that manages to temper the creepy horror elements with a good dose of humour and brings us a wonderful central character who has a great outlook on life.

Sam is an archaeoentomologist – that’s a proper tongue twister that took me about 5 minutes to even spell correctly – the dig she is working on has been put on a temporary hold and following up on some concerns expressed by her brother about their mom’s slightly ‘off’ behaviour she decides now is as good a time as any to return to the family home and spend some quality time together.  When Sam returns home though things are definitely off kilter.  Her mum is behaving erratically and Sam worries about all sorts of scenarios, perhaps her mum is poorly or starting to experience dementia.  What she doesn’t expect, with her straightforward, no nonsense, analytical brain, is a haunting.

There are so many unusual and quirky elements to this one and they all seemed to come together in a very pleasing way for me.  The house and street where Sam’s mum lives is described with a certain charm.  Her mum is a great character and the family dynamic between the two is refreshingly good.  The tension is built up little by little and what starts out as slightly odd gradually becomes creepy before morphing into all out crazy.

Basically, as with many families, scratch the surface and uncover all sorts of skeletons.  Sam’s gran was a strange woman, scary, intimidating, definitely not a soft and cuddly character.  She made enemies out of most of her neighbours and ruled the roost with a firm hand.  It seemed like Sam and her brother were only too keen to leave that particular nest that seemed to be lined with thorns rather than feathers.  And, although Gran Mae has been dead for years it seems that she still has strong feelings on how things should be done.

To be honest Sam really won this particular show for me.  She’s such a great character.  Her determination to find reasonable explanations in the face of creepy situations, and not to resort to hysterics is such a winning element.  On top of that she’s not the best at small talk or socialising and is constantly putting her foot in things which definitely made me smile more than once.  She loves bugs and so isn’t freaked out by swarms of them simply handling things with calm resolve, she even takes the resident vulture population in her stride.  And, she doesn’t want or need rescuing so, although there is a rather sweet friendship developing between her and the local handyman, she can stand on her own two feet thank you very much.

In terms of criticisms, I don’t really have anything, I did wonder at first why Sam’s mum didn’t try to talk to her earlier but to be honest – that conversation wouldn’t have gone well when I think about it.

Overall, I loved this in so many ways.  Even the crazily twisted, over the top, nightmarish conclusion and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher.  For which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion freely given.

My rating 5 of 5 stars


11 Responses to “A House with Good Bones by T Kingfisher”

  1. Dawn

    I just finished this and your review was spot on. I only just discovered this author last year for some reason (Nettle & Bone was my first read of hers), then binge read about everything she’d written to that point and loved everything. She’s definitely on my Will Read Whatever They Write list now.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha That’s similar to my experience. My first book was also Nettle and Bone which i loved and bought some of her other books on the strength of that, just not had time to read them yet.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I loved this too. Sam was such a great character, very much a T. Kingfisher female lead, and the crazy ending really surprised me!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know. It was totally unexpected but I really enjoyed it.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Another Kingfisher book destined to end in my TBR… From what I read so far her heroines tend to be of the “I’ll save myself, thank you very much” variety and the one at the center of this book does not seem to break the mold.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, that’s exactly what the main character is like and I just loved her. Sassy.
      Lynn 😀

  4. pagesandtea

    Glad you enjoyed this one. It’s another that’s on my TBR list, along with Nettle and Bone. The only one I’ve read so far is What Moves the Dead but it was so good that I definitely need to read more 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I haven’t read that one, well, in fact I’ve only read two so far but I do have a couple more that I bought because I really like her writing.
      Lynn 😀

      • pagesandtea

        It’s so good, a retelling of the House of Usher story. The characters are great and it’s quite short too. Definitely worth a read if you get time 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    LOVED THIS BOOK! Kingfisher never disappoints but I connected to this one especially because the main character plus the horror/humor mashup reminded so much of The Twisted Ones (which was my first Kingfisher book and that I also loved!)

  6. bkfrgr

    Oooooo, this sounds so good!! *rubs hands together gleefully*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s