Review: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Turn of the Screw was written by Henry James and published in 1898. The story is a rather ambiguous ghost story told from the perspective of a governess of two children. This governess starts off her post in a peaceful state and then things escalate when she starts to see two sinister figures around the estate.
The storyline was quite good in The Turn of the Screw. It had a wonderful creepy atmosphere and was a good ghost story. The story however is quite ambiguous and isn’t a traditional ghost story, even though you think it might be for awhile. You are left with many questions, which was part of the interesting nature of this story.
The Turn of the Screw was set in the 19th century on a country estate. The estate was a perfect and rather typical setting for a ghost story. Like I said though, this is not a typical ghost story.
There weren’t very many characters in The Turn of the Screw. The story is dominated by the governess who is our narrator. She is definitely an unreliable narrator, which was interesting. It was fascinating to see how her narration changed as the story went on. It became quite psychological in regards to her. The two children Flora and Miles were interesting as well, but I felt like I never knew what to make of them since I was seeing them through the governess’s eyes.
Did I Like It?:
Yes I did ! This was quite an interesting ghost story. The ambiguity of it had me thinking a lot about it. This was my third Henry James ( my first being The Wings of the Dove and my second Daisy Miller ,which was in a bind up with this novella) and I am really enjoying his work! Everything that I have read seems to be quite different from each other, which I did not expect. I am liking the variety though. I will definitely pick up more of his work in the future.
Do I Recommend it?:
Yes! Particularly if you like ghost stories and 19th century lit. This reminded me in some ways of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, so if you like that you may like this as well.