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The Turning by Francine Prose

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Synopsis: Jack is babysitting for the summer on an isolated island with no Wi-Fi, no cell service, and no one else around but a housekeeper and two very peculiar children. He immediately senses something sinister-and it's not just the creepy black house he's living in. Soon he is feeling terribly isolated and alone, but then he discovers there are others. The problem is, he's the only who can see them. As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy…Or is he?

Where does reality end and insanity begin? The Turn of the Screw reinvented for modern-day teens, by National Book Award finalist Francine Prose.

Review: The Turning by Francine Prose is a disturbingly creepy retelling of The Turn of The Screw by Henry James. Throughout the book we are slowly exposed to Jack’s gradual descent into madness. The Turning was definitely different from your average scary story. First, the story was written entirely in prose. It was almost like reading a series of letters and it reminded me of Jonathan Harker’s letters from Bram Stroker’s Dracula. Overall, I enjoyed reading The Turning. It was a unique approach for a modern retelling and I found plenty of increasingly scary images. I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy classic scary stories because although this was definitely reimagined, it did have a nostalgic horror feel to it. Another important thing to note was the blur between reality and imagination for Jack. After several pages in, you can’t help but wonder how much he’s imagining.


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