So, for Week 3 of my 52 book challenge, I decided to use Netflix as my inspiration! I was a little late jumping on The Haunting of Hill House bandwagon, and having finished the show (Finally!), I figured it only made sense to pick up the book that was the inspiration for the Netflix show!
I really liked The Haunting of Hill House (both the show and book!) However, if you go into the book hoping for the scares of the show, you are going to be a bit disappointed. The only real similarities between the book and the show is the name of the house.
That being said, the novel follows Eleanor Vance as she gets invited by Dr. Montague to spend the summer at Hill House, a known haunted house, as he writes an academic paper on paranormal phenomena. Joined by Theodora, Luke, and the Dudleys, the novel shows Eleanor's slow decent into the bowels of Hill House. As the week progresses, paranormal events begin to scare the residents of the house, culminating in the death of one of the characters.
The story progresses rather slowly, but I assume that's because author Shirley Jackson was aiming for that slow burn. It wasn't until almost the halfway point of the novel that the first paranormal event even happens. And, no, it wasn't the Bent Neck Lady.
I also disliked the Mrs. Montague character; I'm still not sure what purpose she really served in the novel. I felt that she was very abrasive, but maybe she was supposed to serve as a kind of catalyst for Hill House and Eleanor.
While I liked the Netflix show, I was a little disappointed by all the creative liberty that was taken in adapting the novel. I like both separately, and find it pretty hard to compare the two since they are so different!
Overall, I loved Jackson's style; her writing is actually gorgeous. And I liked being scared a bit before bed. Fans of the Netflix show will probably not like the book much, however.
In total, I'd give The Haunting of Hill House a solid 4 out of 5!