25 Sep 2012



William walked around to the mill leat to see what was causing the problem. At first he could see nothing at all - the morning sun shining on the rippling surface of the gin-clear water dazzled him. He put his hand up to shade his eyes. The water seemed to be flowing quite evenly. It was then that he saw, not the broken branch that he expected to see, but instead a pale hand protruding from a waterlogged sleeve ....

How can the mysterious disappearance of Anne Flint and the drowning of a young girl in a chalk stream in 1816 possibly affect the life of schoolteacher Harry Flint some two centuries later?

When his marriage fails and he leaves his job, Harry begins to research his ancestors. The deeper he digs, the more he realises that the past is closer than he ever imagined.
..... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): It was not a day for death.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 278): ".... You have heard the parable of the marriage, haven't you?"
"It says that if you put a coin in a jar every time that you make love during the first year of your married life, and if you take a coin out every time you make love for the rest of your marriage, then the jar will never empty.

MY THOUGHTS: What a pretty cover, perhaps a bit too pink but still pretty and very glittery - you can't really see it here but trust me it is liberally sprinkled with silver glittery bits.


An OK read, what I would describe as undemanding and perfect for these lengthening autumn nights. 

The Haunting is a nice gentle, thankfully non-sloppy, totally inoffensive (any real shows of passion are left up to the readers imagination) tale of romance and intrigue that takes place over two time zones set centuries apart. Not always easy to do, Mr Titchmarsh expertly and seamlessly manages to intertwine the historical and modern.

Not able to recommend this one as highly as I might otherwise as to me the author's strengths lie not in his characterisations BUT in his powers of description and in particular his observations on nature which, given that he is probably better known as a gardening expert, I suppose is only to be expected.

Conversations also proved a bit of a sticking point for me in that they just weren't somehow or other convincing - nothing I can put my finger on, they just didn't always ring true. Also, more to do with me than any fault on the authors part, I have the tendency to give voices to characters and given Alan's well known and distinctive voice I found myself unable to do so hearing only his strong Yorkshire accent which I confess did mar my overall enjoyment of the book.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Borrowed from the Ma-in-Law, I shan't be keeping this.


GMR said...

Okay I gotta say it, I read the synopsis part without seeing the picture and was properly creeped out...then I saw the picture. What is with all the pink? *-* They don't seem to compliment one another and yet your review of the book lends another view...the romance aspect whether imagined or in your face. Might check it out, might not...hard to say at this moment. Thanks for the peek inside though!

Trac~ said...

Thanks for another great review. It sounded like a pretty god book from the insert but think I shall be passing on this one as well. Have a great day my friend! :)

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Nikki-ann said...

I haven't read any of Alan Titchmarsh's books, but Mum's read a few. I may have to see if she's got this one and borrow it :)

Melanie said...

I love that first line! It most definitely caught my attention.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I think I'd have a problem with the glittery pink and the dark name. Normally I like contradiction like that, but... pink? Hm... Anyway... sorry this one didn't go over big for you. I have to have believable characters too.

naida said...

Sounds like a good one, I do enjoy romance that takes place in past and present.

DMS said...

The story sounds interesting from the description. I got a creepy feeling from it- but the cover looks more romantic- so maybe there is more love to the story. This is one I may read, but I am not sure yet! Great review!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm much more of a character person than a descriptive one, so doesn't sound like the best fit for someone like me. Sorry it wasn't that great for you!

Suko said...

Thanks for sharing some thoughts about this book. The cover is pretty--I like that shade of pink.

Betty Manousos said...

i really liked the memorable moment.
and the book. sounds like a good one.

thank you for another great review!


fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I actually quite like the sound of this one, even though I have always been a bit dubious about reading a fiction novel by Alan Titchmarsh until now.

I enjoy stories which cross time barriers and I'm sorry, but I actually think that the cover art is quite atmospheric, very ghostly and ethereal, in keeping with the story.

I do know what you mean about only hearing Alan's Yorkshire accent whilst you read, but I didn't think that his accent was as strong as many Yorkshiremen's I have heard. I wonder, is it true what one of my Northern friends says, that Geordies and those from slightly further North, typically don't get along very well with the Yorkshire folk?

I am sorry that this book fell a little short of your expectations, but it is still a nice, honest review.