Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros--The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle

Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros over at Bibliophile by the Sea where readers reveal the first chapter (or more) of a book they are reading or thinking about reading.

Since Halloween is approaching, I'm in the mood for a ghostly story with atmosphere and good writing. I'm thinking about reading The Uninvited by Irish novelist Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958). This is a classic story of the supernatural about Roderick Fitzgerald, a London writer, and Pamela, his sister, who leave London for a home in the country. They enthusiastically decide upon Cliff End on the coast of Devonshire. The house is in disrepair when they discover it, but Roderick and Pamela are taken with the sea view as well as the challenge of restoring Cliff End to its former glory. But the house has secrets. One of them is that the house is haunted by a woman.

My edition is from 1942, and I got it several years ago at a book sale. The book was made into the 1944 film of the same name starring Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey. I'm interested to see how the book compares to the film.

The Uninvited opens with an epilogue in the form of a letter:

"Dear Garry,

Here is your book. It was you who insisted on my writing it.

I understand your pertinacity. The extraordinary events of that summer will never be credited--we shall even doubt our own memories, unless the facts are recorded without more delay.

I know you understand my reluctance. The occurrences which you regard as of "evidential and scientific significance" were inextricably bound up with matters of a personal character. Every effort that I made to separate them from this intimate story failed. I have been able to do as you wish only by forcing myself to forget that what I was writing would ever be read.

I have not spared either you or myself--your legalistic scepticism or my own ill-considered acts and slow-witted refusals to face the truth.

I wonder whether, when you have read this circumstantial narrative through, you will feel as acutely as I do that

Our indiscretions sometimes serve us well,
When our deep plots do pall.

What strange interweaving of destinies began with the reckless mood of that April morning when Pamela and I first saw Cliff End!


Here are the first two chapters:

"The car seemed to share the buoyancy of the morning, humming along over the moorland roads and taking the twisting hills in top.

I was glad we had taken down the hood. There was a heady exuberance in the air. The sky was a high, light haze; the trees and hedges were sprayed with young colour; the birds were busy and lambs ran lolloping and bleating about the hills. Pamela pulled her hat off, otherwise the breeze would have sent if flying. It was her doing that we were on the road before nine in the morning and heading for the sea."

Should I keep reading?


  1. I'm not familiar with this book or the author, but it sounds fascinating... perfect reading for the season! Hope you decided to continue and tell us more about it :)

    1. I will be sharing more about the book. I've read the first two chapters, and it's good so far. Thanks for your comment!

  2. What a perfect pre-Halloween read. Hope it lives up to its promise.

    1. So far, I think it will be a good read. Thanks for stopping by, Suzie!

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt...and the feeling that that lighthearted mood will be short lived! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. This sounds like a perfect book for this time of year. I haven't heard of this before, but it does sound good.

  5. Sounds like a good story. I like the description of their road trip, especially knowing that they're headed for a haunted house!
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog post: WAR BRIDES.

  6. I'm not a big ghost story fan, but I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Ohhh, this sounds great and what a lucky book sale find for you. enjoy. Thanks for joining us Monica

  8. Replies
    1. Yes, I've been wanting to read something appropriate for Halloween, and I think this could be the book. Thanks for visiting!

  9. I love that book cover, but unfortunately, I just don't like scary stories.

    1. I understand, Margot. Thanks for your comment and for visiting!