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Starling House by Alix E. Harrow
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Starling House (original 2023; edition 2023)

by Alix E. Harrow (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2544215,648 (4.05)39
"Eden, Kentucky, is just another dying, bad-luck town, known only for the legend of E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth-century author and illustrator who wrote The Underland--and disappeared. Before she vanished, Starling House appeared. But everyone agrees that it's best to let the uncanny house--and its last lonely heir, Arthur Starling--go to rot. Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but an unexpected job offer might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden. Too quickly, though, Starling House starts to feel dangerously like something she's never had: a home. As sinister forces converge on Starling House, Opal and Arthur are going to have to make a dire choice: to dig up the buried secrets of the past and confront their own fears, or let Eden be taken over by literal nightmares. If Opal wants a home, she'll have to fight for it."--… (more)
Member:Casablancastr
Title:Starling House
Authors:Alix E. Harrow (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2023), 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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Starling House by Alix E. Harrow (2023)

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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
4.5.
A sentient house, a pack of beasties and a broody tortured love interest with a sword.
It could have been cut down which would have improved pacing but I still read it in one sitting. I feel like this is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not amazing but I enjoyed it ( )
  spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |
Opal is broke, so she takes a job as a house cleaner in the creepiest, scariest house in the entire town of Eden, maybe in the whole state of Kentucky. She's never had an easy life. Her mother died, when she was a teenager and to keep the only family, she has together together...she fakes her way into gaining custody of her younger brother, Jasper. Years later we find Opal and Jasper still struggling to make ends meet. Jasper is an exceptionally bright and creative boy, and Opal desperately wants to get enough money together to get him out of Eden and maybe to a private school that will offer him all the resources he needs and deserves. Opal has always been mysteriously drawn to the Starling House. It's a huge old mansion shrouded in rumors and local legends. When she meets the reclusive owner of the house, Arthur Starling, she convinces him to give her the opportunity of a lifetime....to let her work in the house as a cleaner. He doesn't take much convincing, and soon Arthur is offering to pay Opal enough money to send Jasper to school...and in return, she gets to explore the house to her hearts content...the house she’s been dying to see for as long as she can remember. When a woman claiming to be working on behalf of the local power plant offers Opal even more money for information about Arthur Starling and about his house, Opal then begins to think that she must first discover something for herself. She has started to feel that Starling House must have a mind and a will of its own...otherwise why would such powerful people want so desperately to get inside? Author, Alex Harrow has magnificently turned Starling House into a character in itself with a mind of its own and a deeply horrifying plan. The house is strangely ALIVE...but how can that be? Page by page, line by line, word by word, the reader watches as Opal tries to untangle the many mysteries of Starling House, revealing how powerful people will twist the truth until the story suits their purposes, and sometimes gives life to what should never been alive to start with. A delightfully chilling and spooky story about how hidden truths usually always come back to haunt you. ( )
  Carol420 | May 6, 2024 |
Harrow goes Southern Gothic for this one, and mostly successfully, too - I was definitely on the edge of my seat waiting to see where this one was going. ( )
  JBD1 | May 1, 2024 |
I really enjoy Alix E. Harrow's books and this one was great. To start with, the cover is gorgeous and the illustrations scattered throughout were excellent. I will admit that it took me a little bit to get into this book but once it got its hooks into me, I loved it. I have seen some reviews calling this a gothic horror book but I would call it a dark fairy tale set in Kentucky. The characters are interesting and the mixed media setup worked well here. I have had read a string of disappointing books lately and was really pleased to pick this one up and thoroughly enjoy it. ( )
1 vote walterqchocobo | Apr 25, 2024 |
What an interesting book. I’d recommended it to some but not everyone. I felt the writing was a tad dense. But overall I enjoyed the story of Opal and Arthur. My favorite thing about the writing was the way the author was capable of bringing this entire house and story world into some tangible through the senses. ( )
  spaceysloth | Mar 4, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Harrow has a gift for turning settings into characters, as she does with both the strangely alive Starling House and the working-class town of Eden. Carefully unpacking the institutionalized power dynamics of class and race, Harrow untangles the many mysteries of Starling House, revealing how powerful people and groups will twist the truth until the story suits their purposes.
A spooky story about how hidden truths always come back to haunt you.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 4, 2023)
 
Hugo Award winner Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January) does it again in this tender and triumphant haunted house story....Harrow’s prose cuts straight to the heart as she melds a story of family legacy and historical oppression with a stirring call to speak the truth. Readers will be left chewing on this tale long after the last page, and Starling House will no doubt take its place alongside fiction’s most memorable haunted houses.
added by Lemeritus | editPublisher's Weekly (Jul 14, 2023)
 
Harrow’s captivating prose centers her flawed, cynical protagonists in a haunting plot of horrible actions, fog-hidden beasts, and moving connections between family, friends, and lovers. Fans of Shirley Jackson and Catriona Ward should pick this up. VERDICT Harrow’s (A Mirror Mended) mash-up of twisted fairy tales and Southern gothic fiction is a haunting story of longing, lies, and generational curses.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alix E. Harrowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Naudus, NatalieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for my brothers
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I dream sometimes about a house I've never seen.
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"Eden, Kentucky, is just another dying, bad-luck town, known only for the legend of E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth-century author and illustrator who wrote The Underland--and disappeared. Before she vanished, Starling House appeared. But everyone agrees that it's best to let the uncanny house--and its last lonely heir, Arthur Starling--go to rot. Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but an unexpected job offer might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden. Too quickly, though, Starling House starts to feel dangerously like something she's never had: a home. As sinister forces converge on Starling House, Opal and Arthur are going to have to make a dire choice: to dig up the buried secrets of the past and confront their own fears, or let Eden be taken over by literal nightmares. If Opal wants a home, she'll have to fight for it."--

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