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The Quickening: A Ghost Story [Kindle Edition]

Mari Biella
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

A strange force awakens in an abandoned house. A young girl is struck mute. A grieving woman is haunted by a spectral presence, and a scientist finds his scepticism being challenged by inexplicable events…

A psychological ghost story set in the Victorian Age, "The Quickening" explores the contrast between perception and truth, faith and reason, and history and modernity, and leaves you wondering: What is reality?

Praise for "The Quickening":

“(An) absorbing psychological, supernatural, highly atmospheric thriller.” – Dennis Hamley, Indie eBook Review

“A very accomplished novel which has the feel of a modern-day classic gothic horror story.”

“For those who enjoy period ghost stories that generate a sustained atmosphere or mood, The Quickening is a feast.”

“Atmospheric, psychological, and emotionally resonant without ever going over the top.”

“An excellent, disturbing and absorbing read.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 665 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Mari Biella; 2 edition (December 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Very Afraid! February 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Quickening is an elegant, entertaining and very scary piece of writing – somewhere between a traditional British country house haunting and a psychological thriller, with elements of both. You can trace its roots to the stories of Montague and Henry James and a few other Victorian paranormal writers. There are echoes of the ghost stories of Susan Hill. But essentially, this novel stands alone as a brilliant portrayal of what I came to think of as a sort of restrained foreboding
The novel – which begins in the late summer of 1897 - is narrated by Lawrence Fairweather, a youngish married man. He claims to be a rationalist and of course he is: an intelligent and down-to-earth man with no time for religion. But his rational beliefs are ill suited to his present situation. Almost immediately, we are aware that something traumatic has befallen Lawrence and his wife, Julia. The couple have been travelling abroad for several months and are now returning to their home in England with their equally traumatised daughter.
The country house to which they are returning is in the Fens – evocatively described, the very monotony of this bleakly beautiful landscape, as autumn and then winter approaches, somehow adding to the atmosphere of slowly encroaching threat.
Halfway House it is not a particularly old house. It is shockingly ordinary: a ‘plain and unaffected building’ much as Lawrence would claim to be a plain and unaffected young man, a man of science. There is no age-old ghostliness here to explain events. No. This is a much more subtle and therefore much more threatening tale. Go on, I dare you. Read this by night and be afraid, be very afraid indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Atmospheric Horror December 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Quickening is a novel of quiet horror set in Edwardian England. It is atmospheric, psychological, and emotionally resonant without ever going over the top -- even when its two central adult characters finally lose a grip on their steel-girded self control.

This story is told by Lawrence Fairweather, a young man returning home to Halfway House, his remote country estate, after traveling abroad with his wife, Julia, and their five-year old daughter, Hazel. Biella uses names that are cleverly descriptive. The Fairweather family hasn't seen 'fair weather' in a while. They'd hoped their travel would help them recover from a loss, one that has wrenched them inside out but that they never talk about. (As if to complement her parents' coping-by-not-mentioning-it strategy, Hazel has given up speech altogether.) 'Halfway House' is an estate halfway between isolation and sociability, sanity and insanity, this world and the next. Once the emotionally fragile Fairweathers move back in, they are caught halfway between these things, too. Each Fairweather is vulnerable in a unique way the others can't understand. Halfway House has plans for each of them; Halfway house plays favorites.

But is it really something dwelling in Halfway House that poses the threat? Or something dwelling in the Fairweathers? Or a combination of both? Ostensibly, The Quickening is an effective ghost story, with all the atmospheric creepiness that makes a quiet horror story so shivery. But in the tradition of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, the ghost might be in the ever-tightening twist of the characters' tormented minds.

The Quickening is set in the era of Sigmund Freud, and I couldn't help thinking that Julia Fairweather could have been a patient.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly spooky tale July 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gothic ghost story The Quickening is an unrelieved emotional journey into the depths of misery and fear, taken slowly, deliberately, irrevocably. The mood begins gray and mysterious, and gradually gets ever darker and more desperate.

Is this a story of minds disordered by tragedy, spiraling down to madness? Is it a story of paranormal activity unhinging the gates of reason? Both? It doesn't matter. In The Quickening, Mari demonstrates high mastery of mood and craft. She spins a truly spooky tale filled with dread, balancing on the edge of horror; a tale that will stay with me for a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Elegance and Depth February 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the things I liked the most about this book is the quiet elegance and depth with which it was written. This is my first indie book and I was so impressed by the author's integrity - by which I mean, the obvious care the author took in writing it and in making sure that the book was worthy of being read and enjoyed by others before publishing it. The clarity, simplicity, elegance of the prose point to an author who believes in revising and re-writing. I imagine it is tempting for an indie author to send a book out into the world as soon as it is done. Mari Biella didn't do this. That's what I mean by integrity. There are other reviews that describe the plot and the characters. I want to emphasize in this one the psychological depth that all good ghost stories have. The author does a wonderful job creating ambiguity with respect to supernatural phenomena. This in my mind, only makes the scary scarier. She also beautifully links the external world of the novel to the internal world of the characters. By the time you hear a character's thoughts or feel her fears, the weather or the landscape or some other description of the world has prepared you for and made you receptive to that thought. Thank you Mari Biella. May you give us many more books.
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More About the Author

Mari Biella was born in Wiltshire and grew up in Wales. She has been writing from an early age, and her mother still has some highly embarrassing poems and stories to prove it. Her published works are "The Quickening", a psychological ghost story set in the Victorian Age, and "Loving Imogen", a collection consisting of a novella and three short stories.

Mari currently lives in Northern Italy with her husband. She'll read just about anything she can get her hands on, but particularly enjoys literary fiction, psychological horror, and crime fiction. She blogs at and, and tweets as @MariBiella1. Find her on Facebook at or on Goodreads at


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