How to Sell a Haunted house takes us on a journey that forces us to confront our fears. While there is an emphasis on horror – with some scenes horribly visual – I felt the primary focus of this book was to examine grief and how we deal with it.
Louise is called to her parents’ home when they are both killed. Forced to interact with her brother, Mark, we quickly see that this family has been used to keeping secrets. Though neither wants to admit it, they need each other if they are to be in with a chance of selling the house.
When Louise returns to her childhood home she has to confront her fear of her mother’s puppets. Taking up every spare space these puppets remind her of all the elements of their relationship that she disliked. There is one puppet however that needs to be dealt with if they are ever going to free themselves of the things hanging on. This puppet seems vengeful and determined to punish them. The question is, can they survive the experience?
How to Sell a Haunted House was not a book I could say I enjoyed reading. The puppet element unsettled me, and the sad history of the family made it very clear that so much of the horror they faced was of their own making. Whether you are terrified by the graphic events as they fight this spirit will be decided by the extent to which you believe the concept is feasible. Regardless, you cannot help but be affected by the way this family are touched by grief.