Welcome! I hope you have had a good week. Catherine House is the debut novel for Elisabeth Thomas. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York where she still lives and writes. Elisabeth is a graduate of Yale University and she currently works as an archivist at a modern art museum.
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas has Ines entering the private school a different person from when she applied. An experience changed her leaving her in a precarious position. Catherine House is a unique school of higher learning where you commit to staying for three years. There is no contact with anyone in the outside world, no summer vacations, no music, no television, and no mementoes of your past. You do get the chance for a stellar education that will help them obtain their dreams. Ines is more interested in a place to hide and enjoys the abundance of alcohol provided. After a while, though, Ines begins to wonder about one of the labs and what they are doing in those locked rooms. Ines wants answers. But what will be the cost for obtaining the information she desires?
Catherine House is not what I expected. I struggled to finish this book. I continued to read, though, determined to find out the secret and to see how Ines story plays out. Catherine House is a strange book. A school for people with superior intellects and those who think in different ways (linear is not good enough). The book has an unlikeable main character. Ines’ behavior and attitude were deplorable. There is rampant alcohol drinking, nudity and casual sex (Ines had more partners than a street walker). Foul language is prolific as well (for brainiacs their vocabulary was lacking). There is strange food that I wondered if the school drugged from the way the students behaved.
Some of it is odd and difficult to understand. An example is "You are in the house and the house is in the woods. The woods are in the house. The stairs are in the house. Down the stairs is the hallway, and at the end of the hallway is the ballroom. The ballroom is in the house. You are in the house and the house is in you." Another example from Catherine House, "Your hands are on the table. The table is in the hall, across the yard, in the house. The house is in the woods. In the woods, across the yard, in your hands, is the cup. The cup is in your hands. Your hands are in the house."
I did like the dark, Gothic atmosphere the author created. The author is a descriptive writer that allows the reader to visualize the scenes. However, I thought Catherine House moved along at a plodding pace. Nothing really happened. I expected suspense and action which never materialized. I found Catherine House a challenge to finish. Catherine House left me confused, disappointed and anxious for a good book.
Catherine House can be purchased from Amazon* and other major booksellers. I suggest you obtain a sample of the book to see if it appeals to you. The beauty of books is that we each get something different from them. While a book may not appeal to me, you may love it. I appreciate you reading my review today. Tomorrow I am sharing The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden. It is the first novel in the Hope and Glory series. I hope that you have a calm day. Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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