The Ghosts of Gosswater by Lucy Strange

Yes to the Gothic suspense of this book! I was on the edge of my seat whispering, “run,” chapter after chapter. This is another wonderful middle grade story I could not put down.


A thrilling Gothic tale from the author of Our Castle by the Sea, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

1899. The Earl of Gosswater has died, and twelve-year-old Lady Agatha has been cast out of her ancestral home – the only home she has ever known – by her cruel cousin, Clarence. In a tiny tumbledown cottage, she struggles to adjust to her new life and the stranger who claims to be her real father.

And on the shores of Gosswater Lake, the spirit of another young girl will not rest. Could the ghost of Gosswater hold the key to Aggie’s true identity? from Goodreads


On weekdays, I set my alarm earlier than I need to get up so that I can read longer in the morning before the day really begins. I love the idea of watching the sun rise over the lake while curled up reading and sipping my coffee. Except, I have a strange and horrible addiction to my snooze button. This book was so good that when my alarm rang out at 6:00 I popped awake and read, perched on the edge of my couch, totally ignoring the sunrise because it is just that good. This book is better than the snooze button everyone!

Clarence is the worst villain I have come across in a hot minute in middle grade fiction. What an absolute poo of a person. The author has drenched him in all the elements of misery that comes with being the villain; he’s disgusting, greedy, and a cheater. I loved how much I hated him.

Lady Agatha, or Aggie, was an unusual character. She is sketched subtly, with layers to her personality, that the story peels away one by one until the reader is treated with that oh-so-delightful “ah hah” moment. Her friendship with Bryn, the gravedigger’s ward, adds so much to the story and supports Aggie’s growth in beautiful ways. I am certainly a sucker for a new friendship!

The story is atmospheric and the setting is absolute perfection. I didn’t even know how much I needed a Gothic historical fiction until this book landed in my lap. This is going to be the middle grade book to be for this year’s Frighteningly Good Reads.

Tell me, please! Do you talk aloud to your characters? No? Just me?


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