The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh | Romantic not Horror | Book Review
The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh was sitting on my shelf for the past 5 months. When I was thinking what to read on Halloween night, I picked this one over Stephen King.
As my history is not exciting with Stephen King (read a few books, they were boring), trying a new author seems reasonable to me.
It turns out The Haunting is not about horror, and the ghost part is like a tax for wealthy people in capitalist society. Present but not enough to make any situation or changes.
Romance is full-on, though.
This is how I ended up a reading boring romance on Halloween night. Good thing I don’t celebrate Halloween or any other festival.
What is The Haunting about?
The book is about a sad spirit, who is living in a riverside cottage, that is used to be manor a few centuries before I guess. I am bad at house nomenclature, so I call each building house.
There is a history teacher, who reminds me a little of Meursault of The Stranger, due to his detached nature, and so human-less behaviour. He is recently divorced and trying to start a new life somewhere.
Out of middle-life crisis, he buys the house, and start revamping it. He found the neighbour, who is divorced, and have a kid.
300 Yeas Ago:
A maid, dreaming of a better life, run away with a lady and his boyfriend. The lady died, and the boyfriend kidnaps the maid, and take her to the city. Fortunately, she runs away, only to end up in entertainment house.
Telling more will be spoilers of an already dull book.
The past and present intersect. Maid and History teacher share the last name.
History teacher, determine to find his history tree, and trace his ancestry, collects information. In a good twist, he finds out that the neighbour woman and he is connected too.
Is Good End means Good Book?
I admit the ending is excellent. But yes, not unexpected or unique.
If you have read several books with a parallel storyline of past and present, you will clearly know what is the end game here.
The question remains still:
Is the good end justifies the boring beginning?
Does this mean, if the end is not right, then the story was terrible too?
One True Love
I do not want to be there, so I will talk in short.
The Haunting seems to pull the idea of one true love. Majority of romance do that. But I disagree.
The stable boy loves the Maid, but Maid had the big dreams. She wanted to serve the lady.
She took action (what she thought was right) to achieve those dreams, and she failed. Eventually, she returned to the village, and there the boy was still waiting.
Still loving her, but this times girl does not find herself deserving of her love.
The girl used to the think that she deserves better than a stable boy, and when she failed to achieve her dream, she realized that stable boy deserves better than her.
What is the boy doing?
The boy still loves her, even after centuries.
True love story is hilarious and illogical to the point to become a pain in the head.
There are lots of the wrong lesson here if I start digging, but why spreading negativity.
A google search told me that Alan Titchmarsh is a popular English garden show host.
This man loves gardening and has written so many books around the subject. He is doing it from the age of 15. I am not doing anything from the age of 15.
Some people know what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. They begin early.
I admire Alan for this.
The gardening expert writes the scenery quite beautifully.
Past affecting Future
The question this novel primarily ask how the decision taken in seconds can haunt the centuries. That reminds me of this poetry of Muzaffar Islam Rajmi:
These two lines translate to:
History has even seen this rudeness of humanity, where a mistake made in one second had the consequences for decades.
The Haunting is something about that. Though there are no extreme consequences for the Maid’s lineage, the Maid’s spirit mourn in the cottage for a long time.
The mistake made by our ancestors affect us, and there is no running from it. One day or another, we will come face to face with the fruits of the trees planted by our elders.
But then, they are already dead, so they cannot see how their stupid decisions are affecting their children.
They enjoyed their life, oppressed others, had fun doing it. Then they died, leaving the kids to bear the results.
Now we will do the same.
We will make a stupid decision, ruin everything for the future because we will not be there to see the results.
When we see the time across the centuries, we see how small and insignificant is the sadness of a person.
A person was sitting in the evening, getting crazy day by day, and losing his mind. But when we put him in the line of his family, he is nothing but a dot on the line. His miseries, pain, and happy memories end in the black dot.
How to quantify the Maid’s pain or the suffering of History teacher?
They all are the part of a lineage that goes to the first human. In a way, some part of the lineage is proper bliss, while others are mess up. Each line is of average stroke, in the entire length.
So, how is the distribution of the ink Fair?
The history teaches us nothing, except it is stupid to look back, or in future. Whatever there is in the present.
And the History teacher is wrong to find his line because it does not matter.
Do I Recommend The Haunting?
Go ahead, read The Haunting.
You may find it boring, but at the end of the day, nothing is exciting than reading a boring book and then dissing it and then feeling proud of your wisdom that you can diss a book of a successful person.
That a successful person is wrong in this particular thing, and I can say it now.