The House with 46 Chimneys is a story for young readers set around a group of siblings who are shuffled off to their aunt’s house in the country during the beginning of the pandemic. That lands them in a town steeped in history. On their walks they are introduced to the ruins of an old manor house and two of the three feel some strange things while they are there. When they meet some local children who know the history of the place, they begin to dive into the mystery of the old house and just what may be lurking there after all these years.
Having spent a lot of time in Scotland, I appreciated an old manor house as a playground for the imagination. The descriptions of the local area and trips the children took were educational with lots of detail to immerse you in the location and history.
This is my second read where the pandemic was a plot point and I think it was well done. It provided an impetus for these three children to end up in a place where they would be able to explore and create this mystery. It added a layer of uncertainty without bulldozing the atmosphere with sadness and depression. I enjoyed seeing that from the children’s perspective.
I enjoy middle grade reads and one of the things I enjoy about them is the pace and the precociousness of the characters. The pace for this one was a bit slower so you have to really enjoy the atmosphere of it. Once you got there it was interesting but I found myself really struggling to keep with it.
The other piece I struggled with was a strange plot line concerning a secret the aunt had which not only made no sense with the main story but also went counter to the theme of the entire book. I really liked how obedient and kind and caring the children were, the morals and good behavior reinforced throughout had me really pleased to have this piece of literature out there. But then the reveal with aunt killed that for me. It seemed like a small soap box thrown in on what I think is a controversial topic for no reason.
So much about this one didn’t work for me but the ghost story buried within was interesting when you got to it. ⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Love Book Tours for a gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
Have you been to Scotland? Is it on your bucket list?