31 Days of Spooky Reads: Craven Manor

Daniel is desperate for a job. When someone slides a note under his door offering him the groundskeeper’s position at an old estate, it seems too good to be true.

Daniel is desperate. Against his better judgement, he moves into the groundskeeper’s cottage behind the crypt.

Craven Manor was a (heartwarming?) haunted house novel. Based on a high Goodreads rating, I picked up this novel expecting some good old-fashioned horror. Instead, I got some thrilling scenes, but mostly, it had a younger feel to the writing and was almost endearing.

I wasn’t expecting the characters to mesh as well together or to end up as friends, which is what ended up happening. I didn’t mind, since it made what could have been a typical haunted house book into something a little different than what I’ve read in the past.

No strangers are allowed onto the property.
Do not enter the tower.
Do not leave the groundskeeper’s cottage between midnight and dawn. Draw your curtains.
Keep the door locked. If you hear knocking, do not answer it.

There was some unbelievability to the book – how quickly Daniel warms up to the ghost, how much he accepts his new job as groundskeeper, even how willing he is to fight the evil.

He just…accepts things. His thought narrative, of course, justifies his behaviors, which was fine, but I did find him to be a bit passive, even though he was still an active character.

Overall, decent first read from Darcy Oates. Based on this one, I might give the author another try.

Favorite quotes from Craven Manor:

“The manor wasn’t a cheerful place. It wasn’t bright or welcoming. But it felt secure. The last two hundred years hadn’t managed to crumble it. Storms could beat at its walls, plants could try to choke it, age could eat at the furniture, but it still stood just as tall and proud.”

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