Book Review: The Turning by Francine Prose

The Turning
Author: Francine Prose
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Horror/Mystery
Released: September 25th 2012
Review Source: HarperTeen
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Jack is babysitting for the summer on an isolated island with no Wi-Fi, no cell service, and no one else around but a housekeeper and two very peculiar children. He immediately senses something sinister-and it's not just the creepy black house he's living in. Soon he is feeling terribly isolated and alone, but then he discovers there are others. The problem is, he's the only who can see them. As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy…Or is he?

Where does reality end and insanity begin? The Turn of the Screw reinvented for modern-day teens, by National Book Award finalist Francine Prose.

Given the opportunity to spend the summer away from home and make money at the same time, Jack was all for it. Little did he know, this easy job at making quick money for college would lead to not being worth it all. Jack has left behind his father and girlfriend to spend his summer with siblings and their yearly guardian at a castle located in a very secluded area. During his boat ride to his summer home, he meets a couple that shares with him some of the mysteries behind the family that he is going to work for and their troubled past. Near the end of their journey Jack notices some very strange people. One whom even seems to be calling out to him silently, with a deep look in her eyes. Does he know this woman or is he just imagining things?

The Turning by Francine Prose is chilling tale of how Jack unravels secrets after secrets about the 2 children that he interacts with daily. Along with each secret that is revealed, it seems as if another one surfaces. Jack begins to see things that others do not. Are there even ghosts in his midst or is his mind playing tricks on him? Francine Prose presents her novel to her readers through Jack's personal letters to his girlfriend and father back home. His letters give a full account of his day in this huge mysterious house filled with so many questions left unanswered. His girlfriend's reply to his letters, becomes shorter as the weeks go by, making Jack feel that maybe the distance is creating a strain on the relationship. However, Jack's attention pushes him strongly into finding out the answers to all the secrets that surrounds him. I'm not a huge fan of mysteries and ghost stories. And honestly there are moments in the novel where I felt that Jack's daily letter writing to his girlfriend, Sophie was a bit overboard, especially for a main male character. So there you have it. Secrets, ghosts and a mystery that has an unexpected ending. 


  1. I just love that creepy cover! <3
    Good review and I can't wait to read this one! :)

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked the review. I too can't wait for you to read it. Let us know what you thought of it! :)

    2. Even though you were not thrilled by this one, I think I might like it! Thanks for the review.


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