Book review: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


A young governess arrives at Bly, a country home in Essex, England, to care for Miles and Flora, two precocious and pure children. But as ghostly visions take shape, the obsessively protective governess soon fears for the safety of her wards – only to wonder if these hauntings are a conjuring of her own imagination.

In challenging what we see – and what we believe we see – in the dark of the night, The Turn of the Screw stands as one of the boldest and most chilling ghost stories ever told.


I had so hoped this one was going to fill my old-school gothic, supernatural desires but ultimately I found it a pretty complex way of telling a reasonably simple story.⁠

I don’t tend to read the classics because I personally find the writing styles to be too complex for my little modern brain, this book was no exception! It hit me almost straight away that this little novella was going to take me a good few days to get through as I was going to have to pause and decipher what I was reading as I went…⁠

After having read some other reviews for this, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this was excessively wordy! Sentences seemed to go on forever, and ever and ever! Lots was written but not much was said.⁠

Despite all my complaints about the writing, there were several moments where I found this one spooky. The description of the apparitions and the despondency of the children made for some great creepy moments.⁠

At only 133 pages, this one isn’t long but the style in which it’s written definitely does make it feel more arduous to read. I also did have to Google the meaning of it all when I had finished it, just to see if I had got the right idea. I’m glad I’ve now read this spooky classic but I won’t be returning to it at any point.⁠

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Book Details:

Pages: 235
Edition Published:
Genre: Horror, Classics
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.42

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: