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The Family Plot (2016)

Tekijä: Cherie Priest

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3522772,170 (3.7)19
Dahlia Dutton's father is thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Winthrow appears in his office and makes a deal for his company, Music City Salvage, to take over and liquidate her massive family estate in Chattanooga. He gives the job to Dahlia, who gathers a crew and a couple of trucks and heads for the estate--an ancient house, a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Winthrow left out of the paperwork. She left out a lot of things. Although in unusually great shape, the empty house is harboring something angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. After all, there's still room in the strange little family plot. --… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 26) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Dahlia Dutton's father owns Music City Salvage, a struggling business that deals in salvaging antique items and materials from old buildings that are being demolished. They stretch their resources very thin paying $40,000 for the rights to salvage materials from the Winthrow Estate below Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The investment looks to be more than worth the risk, what with a carriage house built of chestnut, stained glass windows, marble fireplaces, and such. However, they need to pinch pennies until the items are salvaged and sold, so Dahlia and her crew (her brother, her nephew and a college student who seems a rather unlikely salvage worker) will camp out in the long-neglected house rather than spend money on a hotel.

However, something isn't quite right at the Winthrow house. Team members encounter ghostly figures and bizarre phenomena that, in some cases, seem downright malevolent. They can't leave. The survival of the family business depends on successfully salvaging as much as they can from the house -- even when they unexpectedly find a cemetery plot in the path of their work.

As with most horror stories, the reader must suspend disbelief at times, but I thought it was a pretty creepy story, which takes some unexpected turns. And don't skip the Epilogue, which provides the final plot twist!

I purchased the audiobook from Audible when I had a membership with them. The narration was well done. ( )
  tymfos | Sep 24, 2023 |
I wouldn't typically seek out a straight up haunted house story like this, except it was written by Cherie Priest. I'm a fan of her Clockwork Century series and I knew this would be good. She strikes just the right note of HGTV spiced up with a little Southern Gothic mystery and charm.

The story begins, as it should, with an innocent enough situation. A proposal is offered to salvage the fixtures of an old family home. Questions should be asked, but aren't. A decision is made in haste. The need is too great to be postponed. The offer has too much upside potential to worry too much about the downside. Besides, it's just an old house. What could go wrong?

At first, everything seems to go well. There are only minor obstacles to overcome. But the story is still interesting enough to keep the pages turning. Then the mysteries start piling up. Standard haunted house stuff. Is the house itself trying to communicate? Was there another presence in the attic, in the woods? Is that a graveyard where one was not expected? What's the deal with this family?

This could have been a stereotypical story of incompetents who are completely unaware that they might be dealing with the paranormal before it's too late and it completely consumes them. Or the reader could have been inflicted with characters so obsessed with the paranormal that it warps their perception of even normal events, turning them into screaming idiots jumping at every unexpected noise. Instead, the author creates a much more interesting world of competent, fairly intelligent human beings who talk to each other, consider the evidence, investigate the situation and react fairly reasonably. It makes sense that the team decides to stick with the job, despite the growing evidence of the weird. They need the money and things are manageable. Until they aren't.

This is a good book for anyone interested in old houses and old Southern families.

Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
( )
  zot79 | Aug 20, 2023 |
I'm a sucker for a good haunted house book. Or flick, for that matter. Yes, they can be repetitive, and yes, they're a little overdone, and yes, my husband would probably be thrilled if I announced I never wanted to see a horror movie ever again, let's just watch anime, let me go get my textbook to learn Japanese so we can watch it with no subtitles. But that's not going to happen. Well, maybe the learning Japanese part will eventually but not yet.

Part of the draw of a good haunted house is the story behind the menace now threatening you -- something awful happened to somebody somewhere and now they just want to lash out and hurt anyone in their reach, and whoever's in reach needs to figure out what the fuck actually happened just to save their own behind. And God only knows why that poor sucker was in reach in the first place -- usually through a situation where they're backed into a corner, where something looks too good to be true because it is.

The awesome thing is that Cherie Priest manages to make it original. I mean, the tropes of the story are there -- they have to be, it's part of a haunted house -- but this time, it's based on a company coming in to strip a beautiful old house of its antique pieces, the hardwood floors, the marble mantlepieces, the old wooden banisters made of wood that doesn't grow in the United States anymore (sidenote: if you ever want to hear about a tragedy, read about some of the decimation of the American chestnut, man...).

And while Priest is famous (infamous?) for her steampunky Clockwork Century books (Boneshaker et al), there's part of me that really feels like this this a return to her Southern gothic roots that she left off with the series of Eden Moore. She brings a lot of cultural flavor to her books that not an awful lot of people manage, and the result is gorgeous.

I also have to say that I really loved Dahlia, our protagonist with a penchant for old houses and a past that's left her just a touch wounded, but determined to make it work and possibly stronger for it. Priest also really managed to convey what it's like to work for a family owned business and the stresses and burdens it brings -- the 'to you it's just another job, but to me it's not just my livelihood but the livelihood of my family and employees' thing.

Good read, either way. Darn you, Cherie, you kept me up until 3 a.m. finishing this book. ;) ( )
  lyrrael | Aug 3, 2023 |
holy shitballs this was hella creepy

classic haunted house tale at it's finest
cared for the characters, relationships felt real
removed one star because of the epilogue
lost one night's sleep while reading because it was scary af

for me it's the best haunting story I've read since Susan Hill ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
A wealthy, elderly woman approaches the Dutton family salvage business with a generous offer: anything and everything remaining on her family's dilapidated estate is up for grabs for a mere $40,000. When Dahlia and her crew arrive at the property to start the task of dismantling, it's immediately clear that it is a veritable gold mine. However, after Dahlia glimpses an ethereal woman in a dress and discovers an overgrown cemetery on the property, things take a turn for the creepy.

I didn't plan it that way, but this was a perfect, spooky read for October. There is a small amount of gore and violence, but it isn't gratuitous and occurs only during the climax near the end. I appreciated that it managed to avoid many of the tropes common to horror stories. Prior to reading this I was largely unaware of the salvage industry and what it entailed, beyond disaster recovery. It was heartening to discover, albeit via fiction, the extent to which reclamation of furniture, architecture and fixtures is performed on aging properties as well. Recommended. ( )
  ryner | Oct 5, 2022 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 26) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
She buried them under the marble stone,

Then she turned and went on home.

- From the ballad "The Cruel Mother" (one of many variants)
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
This one is for everybody who's ever loved an old house
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
"Yeah, send her on back. She has an appointment."
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Dahlia Dutton's father is thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Winthrow appears in his office and makes a deal for his company, Music City Salvage, to take over and liquidate her massive family estate in Chattanooga. He gives the job to Dahlia, who gathers a crew and a couple of trucks and heads for the estate--an ancient house, a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Winthrow left out of the paperwork. She left out a lot of things. Although in unusually great shape, the empty house is harboring something angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. After all, there's still room in the strange little family plot. --

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