House of Shadows

~ A Novel by Andre Norton

Written with Phyllis Miller


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House of Shadows

 

 

Synopsis ~

 

Write-up from the front flap of 1984 dustjacket ~

 

The house, old and forbidding, had been in Dad's family ever since it was built before the Revolutionary War. Now it belonged to Great-Aunt Hendrika, and Mike, Susan and six-year old Tucker, Who had never met her before, were to stay there while Mom and Dad, who was starting a new job, found a place to live. It was an unlucky house. An old family journal told of bad blood between two brothers and of an Indian raid on the house in which the three children on one brother disappeared. In later generations, children of the family - and sometimes cousins just visiting - had died of sudden illnesses. According to local gossip, some kind of a curse had been put on the family long ago.
Tucker, especially, felt frightened of the old house, as strange things began to happen. When Susan discovered four sets of old, carefully handmade paper dolls - some with faces and cloths painted on with wisps of real hair, some with old photographs cut out and used as heads - a sudden foreboding seized her. They represented real children of different generations, among them the children who had died. With mounting urgency and terror, Susan and Mike try to protect Tucker, who seems threatened by some invisible and powerful force they cannot fight.
Against a fascinating background in which Indian wars and Colonial history are interwoven with the contemporary life of this old house, Andre Norton and Phyllis Miller unfold this spell-binding story of three very real and courageous children who confront uneasy ghosts and lay them to rest.

 

Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

Susan dreamed of the children of Kuydall house. She heard their voices, calling to her out of the past, warning her to join them.
Then she found the box of antique paper dolls. There was something strange about the dolls, something that drew Susan out of her own time.
Swept into an arcane magical ceremony, Susan trembled as spirits were conjured and her family cursed. War-cries echoed as the Indians stormed Kuydall house.
Susan had to discover what happened to the first Kuydalls to save herself and her brothers from the same fate.

 

Write-ups from fans ~

Three children are staying with their Great-Aunt Hendrika in upstate New York and her house happens to be haunted by the ghost of three children killed in the Revolutionary War. It had been Indians who had raided the town and kidnapped or killed the children, or was it? The murdered children have been apparently trying since their deaths to contact someone who could "let them out" of the passage in which they died. At an estate sale the older girl finds a box of paper dolls all made to look like past children of the house. Handling these dolls may not be such a good idea! ~ SL

 

The Whelan children Mike, 13, Susan, 11 and Tucker,6 were not happy. When their father lost his NASA job, they had to move from Florida to the backwoods of New York. The kids had to stay with their great-aunt Hendrika in a spooky old house which was built before the American Revolution. Their parents were working in a town a few hours away. The kids (especially Tucker, a kid with an over-active imagination) start having nightmares about children of similar ages to them who used to live in the house. There is supposedly a dreadful curse on the house and its inhabitants. They learn the history of the house and the Kuydalls, their ancestors, all dating back to the Revolution with one brother fighting with George Washington and the other one fighting for England. The Washington follower's children disappeared after a raid by the British sympathizer and his followers disguised as Indians. The raider, who was their uncle, also vanished without a trace. Susan buys a "Grab box" at a local charity auction and finds four sets of three historically accurate paper dolls all representing the family's children at age 13, 11, & 6. The oldest set was the three who vanished. Why are they having these dreams and what can they do to stop them and maybe solve the family mystery? Their lives may depend on finding the truth. ~ PG

 

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles about Andre

1984 in Publishers Weekly, February 03
1984 by A.F. in Horn Book, June
1984 by M. Columba in Best Sellers, September
1986 by Paulette Minaré in Science Fiction Review, Spring
1986 by Don D'Ammassa in Science Fiction Chronicle #80, May 

 

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Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Jenna.
Julie and
Janet

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1984) Published by Atheneum, HC, 0-689-50298-2, LCCN 83016197, $11.95, 201pg ~ cover by Ken Mitchell {Maroon Cloth Boards}
  • (1984) Published by MacMillan, HC, 201pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Ken Mitchell
  • (1985) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54743-8, $2.95 US, $3.50 Canadian,  250pg ~ cover and illustrations by Victoria Poyser ~ Note: there are twelve, full page B&W drawings, one for each chapter

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1985) Published in Copenhagen, Denmark; by Gyldendal, PB, 87-009-1402-9, 137pg ~ translation by Thorsten Villum Hansen ~ Danish Title Skyggernes hus
  • (1986) Published in Copenhagen, Denmark; by Gyldendals Børnebogklub, PB, 87-016-8112-5, 137pg ~ translation by Thorsten Villum Hansen ~ Danish Title Skyggernes hus
  • (1994) Combined with "Sneeze on Sunday" ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press, 5-859-49034-1, HC 352pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Дом теней [House of Shadows]

 

View the original contract

View the 1984 TOR contract

 

 

 

Interior Illustrations

 

 

 

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