Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
+ Free Shipping
House of Darkness: House of Light- The True Story, Vol. 1 Paperback – March 8, 2011
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Andrea Perron was born in Rhode Island in 1958. She is a graduate of Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pa. having earned an inter-disciplinary degree in philosophy and English literature. This memoir waited thirty years to be told, allowing the time and distance necessary for her family to reveal these long held secrets. The author is currently preparing for release of the second volume in this remarkable trilogy. John Shaw created the cover portrait of their farmhouse as a parting gift. Two months after the Perron family abandoned this place in the country, John, all of nineteen years old, drove from Rhode Island to Georgia. He presented his friends with the watercolor; painted from memory, in memory of a special house which touched his life as well. It remains a treasured keepsake. They loved him then as they love him now
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What I liked the most about book 1:
This is a rare experience. New England has lots of old houses, some are haunted with spirits, and this book is a privileged peek into what living in a haunted house with an evil spirit was like and how the family of seven were affected by their decade at the farm. Despite all the chaos the spirits created in the Perron’s home, Andrea did a good job of depicted how their life in the countryside was pretty ideal and peaceful. There’s always a sense of balance in the book: for example, the evil Bathsheba, trapping a child in a trunk in contrast with the benevolent spirits at Fran’s house helping to turn the sheet music when Andrea plays the piano. Even Andrea’s passages of deep analysis is balanced with ‘Boo!’ throughout the book. I also liked the occasional philosophical analysis and the Socratic style of questioning which allows the reader to examine his or her preconceived ideas about spirits and the paranormal, and not just vicariously experience these events through the family members. I don’t think some of the other reviewers have considered the benefits of this approach and can consequently fail to get a deeper awareness of what this family’s journey was like. I agree that the enlightenment is in the question, not the answer. It makes perfect sense that unwillingly sharing a house haunted with so many spirits and an evil one like Bathsheba would create more questions than answers.
Before reading this book, I listened to American Sniper by Chris Kyle. He could see a target through his rifle’s scope better than he could see himself because his book was fairly lacking in insight. I don’t think that he really reflected on his experiences to understand the world more deeply. This was the next book I choose to read and I appreciate the academic and philosophical approach she took to make sense of a deceptively idyllic environment that in some ways seems very similar to Fallujah. (By the way, this book was scarier than reading about the Iraq war.)
What I disliked about it:
I did not like how the book affected me. I had been reading it through the night and was on the page about how Bathsheba would stop clocks in the house at 5:15am and just after I read that I looked at the time and it was exactly 5:15am. Very, very creepy. I had to put the book away for a little while. For me, the story affected me the way some people are affected by studying the grisly details of the Holocaust, slavery, or the Apartheid -- you get too close to it and it seems to get too close to you and you need to take a break and be away from it for awhile. I also didn’t feel comfortable with Andrea’s depiction of Bathsheba Sherman in the book, which I will explain below.
What I still don’t understand after seeing the film and reading the first book:
Is Bathsheba a ghost or is she a demon? In the film, Bathsheba possesses Carolyn very rapidly and it takes an exorcism to force her to leave; she is also capable of leaving the area she haunts; she leaves the Perron house in order to attack the Warren’s daughter, so it fits to call her a demon; in contrast, in the first book, Bathsheba seems less systematic, intelligent, and less powerful than a demon. I don’t recall coming across stories of the children having a dramatic encounter with Bathsheba outside of the house or after moving away for college other than a few times when she followed people in a car who were driving away from the farm. Her ambitions are fairly human: to be the respected mistress of the house; above all, to have its dwellers follow her, not Satan; yet her presence is accompanied by a rapid plunge in temperature (psychic cold) and a foul stench. I thought the spirit of a person who was once alive cannot become a demon, as a demon is a fallen angel who was never alive on Earth to begin with. They’re different types of entities even if they are playing for the same team. I read the book hoping that there would be a clear distinction, but I realize that in real life such distinctions might be blurred or unknowable.
What should have been clearer in the first book:
After reading 500 pages, I felt that there was some important information that was omitted, or somehow not emphasized as much as it needed to be. It could be that the writing style did lead to things getting overshadowed by the philosophical musings, descriptive sentences and the lengthy passages about all the feelings involved, and so forth, but in any case I felt that these things should have been clearer:
1. If Bathsheba were a living person, then by the end of the first book she would be serving hard time in prison for multiple attempts at murder. She could also be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, arson, damage and theft of property, creating mental and emotional distress, being a creepy groper, and so on and so on and so on. Whatever she really is -- and even if she does have feelings of genuine ghostly love for Roger and some of his kids -- her behavior is very criminal compared to the other spirits, and she kept the family, Carolyn especially, living in real and present danger for nearly 10 years.
2. It isn’t very clear what Bathsheba means to Andrea. Why doesn’t Andrea pass harsher judgement on her after she beat and nearly murdered her mother? In the first part of the book, before ever even seeing the house, Andrea broke a neighborhood boy’s nose after he murdered her dog. (Coincidentally, the dog was also named Bathsheba and as another reviewer mentioned this strange coincidence is not explained or explored.) By the end of the first book, I got the impression that Andrea is a little attached to Bathsheba, the witch. One of the spirits in the house, evidently a very creepy one, caught Andrea's boyfriend cheating on her with one of her sisters and scared him away from the farm and the family. The book says he eventually died young of a drug overdose. After the incident with Andrea’s (ex)boyfriend, there is an account of the first time Bathsheba manifested in solid form in front of Roger. Andrea takes on a more critical tone towards Roger for being rude to her and speaking to her without the decorum and deference that Andrea seems to feel Bathsheba is entitled to in "her house". I don’t know if these events happened in chronological order, or if they were just written in chronological order, but it seems the writer has misplaced sympathy for the devil. The real life Bathsheba Sherman was formally tried for murdering an infant and found guilty in the court of public opinion. She was accused of abusing her household staff. She was regarded as a witch in a time before Wicca and 'witchcraft-lite' occult practices. She may not even be resting under her headstone because the townspeople didn't want her buried in consecrated ground. She didn't make better choices after death.
3. To what extent did relationships between the spirits and the living inhabitants manifest? It’s clear there was mutual dislike between Carolyn and Bathsheba, but I’ve learned elsewhere online that there was a relationship between April and the spirit of the young boy she saw right after moving in, and that Bathsheba lusted after Roger. She broke items in the house knowing he would take them into the cellar to repair them, where he felt icy fingers on his back on more than one occasion. I’m looking forward to reading the second book and am hoping that some of these lingering questions will be answered.
This is my first book review on Amazon. I didn’t like all the negativity of the reviewers. It did impact how I read the book and it’s a very rare type of book to read, so I felt the need to discuss and analyze more than average. I wish some people would remember that others are reading these reviews to get more information about the book & decide if they will buy it and read it, too. This is more of a memoir -- not a novel, told in vignettes. A novel is a work of fiction and it DOES NOT need to follow a strictly linear timeline, as 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez shows. They lived in a house with timeless spirits who sometimes appear young or old, and I think the time jumping is kind of appropriate. It was almost like flipping through a family photo album. As for the academic writing style with no editor -- I think it adds to the authenticity and even a good editor could have done more harm than good with the story. Andrea's the eldest and this fits the birth order psychology theory that the eldest is the most academically driven and the most likely to become a professor.
If a revised, abridged version is ever published, it might be helpful to separate the telling of the story from the deeper philosophical analysis; perhaps by concisely telling the facts and feelings of the story in the first part of the chapter, and then have the second part of the chapter be about analyzing what those events could mean. Separating the content gives the those readers who need the graded reader version a sense of control over how much enlightenment and academia they’re exposed to while reading the story, so maybe, maybe, maybe they could come back to the more insightful parts at a later time, and it'd keep those readers who need to explore this topic more deeply happy as well.
My entire life I've only put down about 3 or 4 books without
finishing them. This was nearly added to that number. There
was one part that had a single paragraph run on for about 4
or 5 pages. If was so full of adverbs and adjectives and
metaphors that it was almost impossible to get through. About
pages 175 to 180 it began to pick up. Once it got into the
actual haunting the book and writing got much better. When it
was bad it was really awful, but when it was good it was very
entertaining and quite interesting. This first volume of the 3 was
much too long and extremely wordy. Could have cut about 125
to 150 pages off of it and would have been just as informational.
I'll read the other 2 volumes later on. Have to rest after this one.
Like I said ------ less is more!!
However, I happen to really like it! I like the poetic prose, the descriptive details, and the philosophy. I like all the literary quotes that introduce the chapters. I love reading about the setting of the property, the woods, river and animals, and I appreciate the time she takes to express the love she and her family feel for the important people in their lives. I think it's good for the brain to digest a story that branches out and loops around and pulls in a lot of different concepts. I'm thoroughly enjoying this book and looking forward to reading the other volumes.