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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Can a house have feelings? Be emotional and have loving ties with those who live within? Strangely enough in the bayous of Louisiana, a certain house fondly known as Claire’s House, so named after the original owner and the Gautier family that built it, has powerful bonds with its family, first the Gautiers and then a woman considered to be of ill-repute, Madame Savannah. And, when these beloved people died and never returned, what then? Stranger things have happened, but some of the strangest happened at Claire’s house, or so the local folklore proclaims.
Linda Heavner Gerald’s novel, Claire’s House: Spooky Louisiana Tales, is a chilling story of a house and its unnatural bonds to the families who dwell within. The plot begins with some backstory on the Gautier family and their ties to a strangely haunted piece of land in Louisiana. When Claire’s house is built, it has a beauty that wins the hearts of all who see it or live in it. The unsettling occurrences begin with the young children hugging and kissing the walls of the house. Then the nanny does the same and soon Claire reaps the benefits of the loving embrace of the house. The eeriness of this unnatural bond vibrates throughout the story and beware to anyone who threatens the house’s beloved family. The plot is rich in Louisiana folklore and history and the chilling realities of the unexplained and unnatural. Told as a legend using a narrative format, this is a powerful story that will have the reader glued to the pages until the end.