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10 thoughts on “Gad's Hall

  1. says:

    Oh my, is this a cross over genre that combines deep description of core personality for 5 or 6 main characters, but also at the same time hums a hypnotic mood The platform of the place being one of concrete strong structural base for contentment and good intent belief countered with a dichotomy of constant singular antithesis to all that is normal and of natural wholeness.This is Norah Lofts near the end of her career She is experimenting in somewhat a reversal of her normal chronological order of seating a house at its beginning and then proceeding through the centuries for its events and occupants In this one we start in post war modern England with a family of now handicapped abilities and wholeness And then after just a few chapters, we revert to the beginnings for their house which they have bought near Baildon Bury St Edmunds actually England Suffolk to start a new life in the countryside That house is Gad s Hall It s the 1840 s for the entire remaining sections of the book and this is only the first in a series How she completes this 5 women and 1 boy 1840 s family plus Jenny and Will which are the help is so masterful, that I can only give it 5 stars It s not perfect in the light of action level comparison for moderns but much deeper at core.Poe has gotten literary acclaim for his moods This one is just as good Plus it combines immense minutia of trade, husbandry, cow auctions, corn markets, and dozens of patterns of manners and occupations of time for that period All within economic class constraints and the processes of courting and marriage eventualities for 4 female offspring How that is worked and highly patterned by the females as much as the males, is pivotal But what gives it that extra star is the voids Lofts doesn t need to be gross, pornographic, vile in chewy blood letting scenes, or highly descriptive of the menace in play Not at all But IS IT THERE Unsaid and known at the same time Among them in their midst.And in fact, the onus of what really has occurred is far deeply scored upon the understanding of the reader for those peculiarities of the voids of admittance for the process Modern readers of horror, or romance, or sci fi or grit madness insanity might think this book is mild and slow Some, I read in reviews, think that this pace of eyes can be tedious Not I.Can t wait for the next one in this series which is waiting for me to pick up today The Haunting of Gad s Hall is HIGHLY anticipated.


  2. says:

    4 stars I really liked it though this is no literary masterpiece and I really have no reason to have liked it so well Some books are just like that.The bad It s slow It starts with the story of one modern ish family, then completely drops them to focus on another historical family There s racism era appropriate Probably, but it s never addressed in the narrative Not a lot happens The writing is adequate, but not stellar.The good Despite all of this, I was fascinated by both families in this semi gothic read I m looking forward to reading the second book to see what happens to them Though the gothic touches were light very light here, and I d call this of a historical family saga, I did enjoy the slightly sinister elements of the tale and hope they re expanded upon in the next book More ghosts More creepy paintings More gasp daughters practicing satanism in the attic lol


  3. says:

    Boring, boring, BORING I don t expect every haunting novel to stand up against masterworks like Hill House or The Shining, but this was just plain dull No personality to the characters except perhaps the contemporary narrator, who only stands out because she s a prattling, yammering moo , no plot whatsoever unless you count endless minutia re prices of Victorian farming nonstop blabbing about all the damn daughters who they married , bland descriptions of purposeless details, brief spurts of droning conversation punctuated by eye gouging monologues to show how Isobel Jill are such Strong, Tenacious Womenyeah, it s that great But honestly, y all The single most important failure of Gad s is that it s NOT SCARY Who gives a crap about these people Why should I care about their so called creepy house if nobody knows or even cares that it s fucking haunted Things finally started to happen in the last 75 pgs, but Lofts writing is so choppy piecemeal that I could hardly tell WTF was going on, let alone why I should bother to finish I won t be trying any Lofts Her prose is consistently bland choppy with too much obvious effort at subtlety even when if the plots finally kick into gear, such an overt sense of self importance kills any interest on my part.


  4. says:

    Set in Lofts favorite fictional setting, the environs of her imaginary Baildon, Suffolk, this novel is divided into two parts Part I, set in the author s present, in which a modern family moves into the titular Gad s Hall only to find that there are certain strange manifestations there, connected to a locked attic room with no key and Part II, set in the mid 19th century, in which we learn what exactly went on in that room and why it came to be locked permanently The reason, as Lofts implies, involves something than purely natural horror.Norah Lofts, of course, was primarily a writer of descriptive fiction especially historical fiction Part II showcases her mastery of that genre Her work is typically characterized by concentration on family and social relationships incident filled plots realistically drawn, very human characters who are compends of positive and negative qualities in different degrees and who cope with their problems in ways that we can understand, whether we see them as constructive or not an attitude towards life that s neither bleakly despairing nor filled with Pollyanna style optimism, but which recognizes its challenges, and above all its continuity as an ongoing process over lifetimes and generations But she also, even in her descriptive fiction, at times exhibits an interest in the supernatural, the psychic, the paranormal dimension that may or may not touch the natural world here and there All of these elements are present here, in both parts we re introduced to two families and their web of relationships, and much of the storyline is very realistic fiction about people whose lives you get immersed in and come to care for It s not a book that s all about bumps on the stairs in the night it s also about coping with crippling injury, a romantic triangle, loveless marriages, alcohol addiction, the way that miscommunication and misunderstanding messes with our lives, the choices people make in their interactions with others, the rampant sexism and sexual double standard of Victorian society, etc But while the supernatural element doesn t constantly make itself felt, and is low key and usually subtle when it does and so won t please some genre fans who prefer overt and grisly gory manifestations it s marked than it usually is in Lofts, and indeed casts a shadow over the entire book For the secret of that attic room involves a story of Satanism, with lethal consequences and the Satanism here was than simply a misguided superstition.Being a fan of Lofts, I found here the kind of qualities I enjoy in her writing elsewhere, and found it a deeply absorbing read which had me very worried about the characters much of the time One caveat, though the resolution here leaves room for some questions, which are presumably answered in the sequel, The Haunting of Gad s Hall That s on my to read list


  5. says:

    When the Spender family Bob, his wife Jill, and their three children are first offered the chance to move into Gad s Hall they are absolutely thrilled The previous owner of this ancient, beautifully kept Tudor style house is a kind hearted elderly gentleman who simply wants someone to protect the family homestead He is actually looking for a family that is capable of caring for the mansion, and of bringing Gad s Hall back to life and he is willing to give the Spenders his home for practically a song.The Spender family views Gad s Hall as an incredible bargain a truly amazing godsend and they are beyond thankful for this gentleman s astonishingly selfless act of generosity They are delighted to accept such a thoughtful gift The happy couple and their young family soon move in and make themselves comfortable in their new home.However, what the Spender family does not realize is that Gad s Hall is haunted Oh, nobody heard terrified screams in the night, no objects went flying through the air, and no one heard murderous, disembodied voices yet Gad s Hall is haunted just the same Gad s Hall has absolutely been brought back to life.In fact, the house is actually alive Yes, a door to the past has been opened by the arrival of the Spender family And soon Jill Spender a strong willed, sensible woman will be overtaken by irrational feelings she can not possibly control All because of the unspeakable secret kept by the women who had lived at Gad s Hall than a century agoI must say that I absolutely loved reading this book In my opinion, Norah Lofts was a truly excellent author She was an intelligent writer, able to write intriguing and intricately woven plots that are thoroughly enjoyable I think Gad s Hall A Novel of the Supernatural is another absolute gem written by Norah Lofts and I give this book an A


  6. says:

    I read the combined edition with both stories in one volume Gad s Hall and The Haunting of Gad s Hall This is the first novel or novels by Norah Lofts I ve read and honestly I found it them somewhat disappointing I thought that I was sure to find something spooky between the covers given the title But sadly this story just didn t do much for me in the spooky department The story is about two families There is a contemporary story and an historical one, both center around an old Tudor home in England The contemporary family moves into the old house and the daughter and the grandmother are afraid of something there The reader is taken back in time to learn what happened in the house that caused the evil feeling to linger I thought the story was rambling, the details somewhat tedious and the historical portion of the story lacking in period details I thought Lofts gave endless details about the lives of these characters but at the same time they didn t feel fully developed to me The story drags and there is plenty of filler that could have been trimmed out The haunting portion was very predictable and basically uninteresting I wish Lofts had focused on the events in the life of the youngest daughter in the family in the past as well as the relationships the contemporary mother had with the owner of the house Those two stories were the most interesting to me and also seemed to be the most neglected I did like some of this but overall I was disappointed and didn t feel satisfied when I turned the last page.


  7. says:

    We see at once whether a book brings the kind of story we anticipated Sometimes, what you get instead, is a masterpiece like Gad s Hall As you are swept up in the lives of each person, it is no disappointment I see that Norah Lofts ruled the gargantuan gift of authoring deeply entrenched historical sagas This pair of novels is as ambitious but stands apart.A 1977 family disbelieves the bargain of a well kept manor, with fruit trees and grounds from whence to make their living Bob Spender s daughter is ill at ease, enough that his Mother brings her to live in the village She opposes their investment unless they look into the negative sensations In the most creative shift I ve ever experienced, we revert to the original family that of George Thorley He wouldn t see the bursting adventures sparked by everyone in his fold They ignited at his death When Isobel is left to raise his daughters, Deborah Caroline with hers, Diana Lavinia she was the first woman to run a business and deal in the marketplaces of men As we admire her bravery, the girls assert their personalities Deborah is a horsewoman, loyal and strong When she lives on her own with a son, she becomes a celebrity through a career of her own making In Caroline is the humour, becoming a doctor s wife because the man she prefers married her friend Diana is the fashion plate, wanting only a respectable man but turns to talent of her own in tough times Lavinia, moody and peculiar, is awakened by little but nature and art a brilliant painter who always inserted a bizarre twist These books were composed at the end of Norah s life and I feel fortunate to have discovered them You must procure and read them both


  8. says:

    Gad s hall was on the market for a very, very, reasonable price and the seller Mr Thorley was the most helpful man that Bob and Jill Spender could have hoped to meet The old house was well maintained and was ideal for the Spender family to move directly in to After they had moved into the house Jill started to have uneasy feelings and Ella, Bob s mother, having visited once, had such a bad feeling about the place that she made any excuse she could think of not to return The Tudor house had been owned by the Thorley family since it was built and had passed down through the generations but the current Mr Thorley who had no children and had made the decision to sell, to the right buyer In part two of the novel which starts on page 71, we are taken back in time to summer 1841 when George Thorley widowed with two daughters remarries to a lady called Osborne who like him has two daughters who or a similar age to his own The girls get on well together and the blended family is a happy one and to add to that Mrs Thorley gives her husband a much wanted son and heir George known as Georgie All four of the girls became simply known as the Thorley girls, they all doted upon little Georgie and he was somewhat precocious and spoilt The only sibling that gave any cause for concern was Lavinia, she was artistic and withdrawn, was naturally pale a little too slim to be considered shapely, she never seemed to be aware of what was going on or at least she showed little interest and was always late and preoccupied with her own thoughts.After Lavinia meets Mr Fremlin at a party and then her mother is invited to his family home to meet his mother, Lavinia becomes a frequent visitor to the Fremlin home and although we are told very little of what goes on there we later draw the conclusion that it was something unnatural.The results of what happened at the Fremlin house is the turning point at Gad s Hall, it changes from a happy home to a place of secrets and sadness, a sadness that will linger and reverberate down through the centuries Gad s is doomed to be marred by the presence of evil stamped into its very walls.


  9. says:

    I had forgotten how good a storyteller this author was This is another book that has been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile and turned out to be great entertainment The Spender family can t believe their good fortune at finding this beautiful Tudor manor for an unbelievably reasonable price Naturally, the house is haunted The majority of the book tells the story of the Thorley family in the mid 1800s and how the strange fortunes of all those involved were affected by the evil of one person A great story, if you like that sort of thing, which I do very much This book leads right into the second book where the story continues.


  10. says:

    This is Norah Lofts being creepy and supernatural in a 19th century farming context It wasn t as scary as I remembered it, the evil is very slow burning and it s interesting because of the strong characters and very practical plot how does the widow of a cattle farmer manage to run her late husband s farm in the face of prejudice against women than the Satanic bit of the storyline.I think it didn t quite work for me because the Satanic stuff needed to be fully developed it was too slight for me to quite believe in it It almost felt like the first half of a book that was going to get going later so now I need to read the sequel to see if things speed up a bit It s still great, vintage Lofts though rounded, interesting characters, lots of juicy historical detail and some bodies buried in the garden.