The Ghost of Gosswater

By Lucy Strange (Chicken House)

The Ghost of Gosswater By Lucy Strange

Aiden's review
I would rate this book eight out of ten. I really enjoyed the book and it had me hooked from the start.  The book is for a more mature age group as this book involves a lot of death and ghosts. 

The Ghost of Gosswater is set in 1839 in the Lake District and although set in the past, can fit into multiple genres but more commonly fits into horror or mystery and adventure. This book is a very interesting read as it has many plot twists and hooks. It is about a girl called Agatha, who was my favourite character, who is evicted from her stately manor by her cruel cousin Clarence, the least attractive character, and is told by said cousin that she is adopted. In vengeance she steals the King stone from her cousin. 

The King Stone is the world’s largest black opal and was purchased after the father of Agatha had passed away and after his title as earl was inherited by his nephew clarence. The Kingstone was made to be a replica of the queen stone. The queen stone was a giant white crystal opal which was passed done through generations of the Asquith family. It was lost centuries ago and everyone thought that it was a curse. The curse of the queen stone. It was given to the Asquith family along with the title of earl because the Asquith family had saved the queen from a raid in the celebration. 

The Asquith family were just average goose farmers and when they went to the celebration, they did not have gift and they decided that they would give her plateau of goose eggs. When the bandits had attacked it was and ambush, so they killed the guards they had won and kidnapped the queen. Luckily one of the goose eggs had hatched and it heroically fought of all the bandits. 

I have covered a lot about empire and how resources drove the growth of empire, particularly in the 1700s and 1800s, so it was interesting to see this also influence family relations in Britain at the time. 

I would recommend reading!

Humairah's review
I really loved this book. It was really interesting and went in depth of Agatha's emotions. I really enjoyed how the author described the characters as it made it easier to imagine the story playing out in my head. I would recommend this book to others.

Leah's review
The ghost of Gosswater is an interesting book set in the lake district after a young Agatha loses her family home after her cousins inherit it. This meant that her whole world had changed and showed that it would be difficult for her to adjust to her new life.

At the start she doesn’t seem like a very strong character but it slowly starts to progress and she becomes much more interesting. Lucy Strange creates an eerie type of atmosphere but isn’t scary for young viewers. Once she leaves Gosswater Hall she becomes a much more engaging character and this is when you learn more about her and how she wasn’t unkind like she acted in chapter 1. 

In summary, the book shows how things may be extremely challenging and you may be uncertain at times and focuses on family and how you have to appreciate the things that you have and the importance of this. I thought it was an interesting read from beginning to end but it can be a bit slow at times.

Georgia's review
The Ghost of Gosswater – Alluring, Chilling and Inspirational.

It is 1899, and a cold, biting winter is approaching Britain. Amidst the village of Gosswater, upon the Lake District, the Earl has died, joining the Countess beside her grave. Clarence Asquith, the rapacious nephew of the Earl, is to inherit Gosswater Hall, and so young Lady Agatha is cast out with only sparse clothes to keep. Aggie is sent to live with a stranger, a man who claims to be her father, in a tumbledown cottage a mile or so from her former home. Aggie knows no longer who she really is, but determination to uncover the truth thrives within her. However, she is not alone on her pursuit for veracity. On the final day of the century, at the stroke of midnight, a girl of mystic white drifts through the crack in time; she will not rest until the dark secrets of the past come to light...

The Ghost of Gosswater is enthralling; a form escapism which transports you back in time to a period when British society was strongly driven by aristocracy and strict morals – the Victorian Era.

Clarence Asquith is driven by upmost greed, and his behaviour reflects upon how ingrained the upper class’ attitudes were in wealth and aristocracy, throughout Queen Victoria’s reign. Admittedly, Aggie sometimes does not do any favours for herself, but you would have to be immensely stone-hearted, to not allow a child any of their rightful inheritance!  The Earl and Countess also appear coaxed by money; they refuse to allow their daughter to marry a working class man, since there would be no prosperity in doing so. When this was revealed, I very much loathed the two characters; choosing riches above your child’s wishes it uttermost impudence! I did not realise that attitudes in Victorian Britain, especially of the older generation, could be quite so shallow and misleading. However, young Lady Agatha gives hope that these traditional attitudes can and will change – thankfully! Throughout the story, the girl becomes more and more Aggie, learning that opulence does not define who people are.

Finicky and somewhat unkind was how I perceived Lady Agatha, at the beginning of the novel. She seemed rather spoilt and unused to the way most ordinary people went about their everyday living. Though, not that I could blame her; the young girl was more or less sheltered from the world her whole life! When Lady Agatha has no choice other than to leave Gosswater Hall, she meets new people, learns new skills, and becomes Aggie. I must confess that at the end of the story, I felt rather proud of the character she had evolved into: a strong, outgoing and perceptive young woman. Her character development made the plot of the novel captivating, fulfilling and inspiring. Aggie is a heroine, who gives hope that the traditional, facile attitudes of Victorian Britain could fade away.

Aggie’s resilience is not the only thing from this novel to have inspired me. Lucy Strange incorporates beautiful, chilling, atmospheric literature into The Ghost of Gosswater. I myself have only read a few ghost stories, but the gothic, suspenseful ambience of Strange’s novel has given me an urge to read more and more! Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a key motive in the story; Aggie references to the play numerous times, linking its ghosts, revenge, and justice to her own tale.  Though I have read a few stories of Shakespeare’s I have never read Hamlet, and now I am quite intrigued to look into the further details of the narrative.

I believe that anyone, young or old, would be captivated by the Ghost of Gosswater; it is the perfect book for those seeking adventure on a rainy day. My aspirations now are to read more gothic literature, and to learn more about aristocracy throughout the Victorian Era. Lucy Strange, thank you for such an alluring, intense and inspiring novel.

Wait! Is that the shadow of a tree outside your window... or is it, perhaps, something else?

Lisa's review
The Ghost of Gosswater by Lucy Strange is a riveting book.

Imagine having your whole life stripped away in a matter of moments. Well, that is exactly what happens to Lady Asquith when her father, the 29th Earl of Gosswater, dies. 

Between geese and precious stones, ghosts and lakes, this book is a thrilling read especially for young adults who want to dive into the limitations and expectations of traditional aristocracy. 

It is a race against time in the book and the pace of the chapters drags you along with Aggie at a breathless speed.

Truly, it was well written with lengthy descriptions and likeable leads.

Devon's review
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found Aggie /Agatha Rose Asquith the most interesting character as the book is based on her history. I disliked Aggie's cousin Clarence (who is the 30th Earl as the book starts the night after the late earl dies) because he lies to Aggie about her father`s will. I learnt that, in the past, if you were with a child before you married, you and your family would be shamed. The time period was late 1800 early 1900 and it is set in the Lake District which sounds beautiful. The plot was interesting as it was Aggie’s revenge on the 30th Earl of Gosswater, who lies to her about her grandfather's will to take the Queens stone and King stone from him. The thing I will remember about this amazing book by Lucy Strange is that good books have a lot of the back story without the reader noticing. I would recommend it to others as I really enjoyed reading it and give it a 5/5 rating. The thing that I do not like about the book is that it finished with a few cliff-hangers and questions.

Polly's review
This is about a girl called Agatha. Her father dies and she is forced out of her home by her evil cousin.

This is a challenging book. The plot can be confusing, so I would recommend it to older key stage 2 who will take time to follow the history through the plot, particularly the mysterious, ghostly parts!

Isabelle's review
This is a great book about a girl called Agatha who is told that she is not really who she thinks she is… After her father dies, her cruel cousin, Clarence, takes over.  He forces her out of her home, to become Aggie, a simple farm girl who can’t cook bacon to taste like bacon!

The descriptions in the book are fascinating. The plot twists are predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

My favourite part is on the shores of Gosswater Lake when the spirit of another young girl emerges. She will only rest when the truth is revealed; like me, when I read the story.

Alexi's review
The book was set in 1899 in the Lake District. Clarence is my favourite character because I like how he kicked out Agatha from her own house. I will remember the nursery on the top floor because it describes it really well. I did not like when it says to do jobs in the village because it is saying that she is doing jobs for the village and Agatha should have stayed in her house but she got kicked out because her father who is now dead.

I would recommend this book to other people because it is really interesting to read.

Pranavkiruthik's review
The Ghost of Gosswater is an amazing book with lots of thrill in the book. You can immediately notice this as it starts of with a very sudden phrase of information. It is about a girl called Agatha Asquith (aged 12) who is thrown out of her house by her cousin (Clarence, the thirteenth Earl). She goes to live with a random stranger who Clarence says is Agatha’s true father. She lives in a tumbledown Town. In the town, Agatha becomes friends with a boy named Byrn and they both find Agatha’s true identity. This book is about Agatha finding her true self; the book is set in the Lake District in 1899. On the 31st of December, a ghost with a girl’s body appears to reveal the secrets and help Agatha claim her home back again. In my opinion, the book is really good for thriller fans and I can recommend it but it is quite boring at the start, so I rate it 6/10 stars. It is a very historical book written by Lucy Strange. Nowadays more and more people are loving cliff horror and mystery books so this would be great for them. My age rating is 9-15 for this book because it has some complicated plots and vocabulary.

Iustina's review
“The ghost of Gosswater” is a story about a noble girl who finds out she isn’t noble following the death of her father. She then lives with her biological father but ends up finding out the real truth about her past and makes a friend along the way for guidance. 

I was a very big fan of the storyline and theme of paranormal activity though I did find it predictable after the introduction of Rose and there wasn’t much of a plot twist since I had previously predicted the ending correctly. 

I really enjoyed how the story progressed to leave an ethical ending. There was a lot of obvious foreshadowing even before the end was revealed though it was still great to see the previously mentioned information fit together so nicely. 

I was extremely fond of Thomas as he was a very passionate man who put so much love into everything he did. He was not a father figure to Aggie long though it was clear he really loved her. 

The character of Clarence was very telling of the time period as he was extremely capitalist throughout the whole of the book. He was incredibly unjust and was constantly attempting to steal what was rightfully in Aggie’s possession. 

I would give this book an overall 9/10 as it was one of the best plots but it was incredibly predictable after a certain point as I was already connecting the points. 

Joley's review
‘The Ghost of Gosswater ’by Lucy Strange tells the story of Lady Agatha Asquith, a young girl whose life changes drastically after her father dies. Agatha’s cruel and uncaring cousin sends her away from Gosswater Hall and she must live simply as a goose keeper. She finds out things she never thought would even be possible…  

I enjoyed the plot of ‘The Ghost of Gosswater’. It seemed to always have a cliff-hanger at every turn and had a lot to give. It was based at the very end of the 17th century edging onto the 18th and it tells a lot about plague, sickness and the disparity between the rich and poor. It has serious themes such as death, violence and supernatural. However, for me this made the book more interesting and indulging.

It fantastically showed the difference between the poor people and the rich people - almost seeming like they lived in completely different worlds. I liked watching the protagonists attempt in settling in with her new surroundings since she was struggling in fitting in with her new life. I learned a lot about the 17th – 18th century and how they lived and dealt with everything.  

Nonetheless, I have some problems with the book. Nearing the end, it seemed to speed up in the plot and I had problems keeping up with everything. The blurb didn’t describe the book well and suggested at themes that weren’t important to the story at all. 

I would recommend the book to those who like paranormal activities and a strong female protagonist, as well as people who like mystery. 

Ariba's review
In the book the character that I had found interesting was Bryn Black this is because the character was funny, he was strong and he was great with animals. The book was interesting, but mildly boring. The detail of the trees and house was enough for you to see what the writer is trying to show us. I had learned a few new words while reading the book such as lattice and balderdash.  

Ryan's review
Summary: The story is about a girl living on an estate. The man she believed was her father dies and her evil cousin kicks her out of the hall as he inherited the estate and in revenge she steals a pearl called the Goose egg pearl. She is sent off to her real father in a small house on a small holding. Clarence starts to look for the pearl and the girl starts seeing a ghost. In the end Clarence falls in the lake ( implied he is dead) the house burns down and the ghost was her mother who was the daughter of the man she believed was her father.

Good description, the author sets the scene well , the story has a satisfying ending and the lead to the end of the story is well plotted. I enjoyed this book.

Izzy's review
I personally didn’t like the beginning of the book, where Agatha was at Gosswater Hall I found it quite boring, I began to like the book when we were introduced to Thomas and Agatha began to get to know him, I found it to be a major plot-twist when I found out that Thomas was Agatha’s real father.

I didn’t like the characters: Clarence or the man who dug the graves, I also found Thomas and the maid very suspicious, I found Thomas a bit suspicious from when we first met him, since he was new to Agatha and she wasn’t used to that lifestyle, I think Thomas made it rushed for her but it was also partly Clarence's fault.

I found the maid suspicious since she had a very close relationship to Agatha, she was the only one Agatha could trust, and she could let her go so easily, I understand that she had to but I would have liked to see more of their friendship.
I liked the scene where Agatha met Bryn, I found it very heart-warming since it was Agatha’s first friend who didn’t treat her different, I also liked that he thought she was a maid but still didn’t treat her differently.

Overall, the book was meaningful but I lost interest nearly half way through, I did prefer when the book was about mainly Agatha and Thomas lifestyle and not Agatha’s and Bryn’s friendship.

Ellen's review

  • Which of the characters you found most interesting and why? I found Rose most interesting as she was mysterious and we were not ever sure who she was until near the end.
  • Which of the characters (if any) were not attractive – why? Clarence as he was mean, greedy, lied and was cruel and selfish. His greed drove him mad and made him do terrible things.
  • Did you learn anything new about the past from the book? I learned how both poor and rich people loved and what their opportunities were.
  • What made the history or the time it was set in interesting to you? The huge difference between the lives of people then and now made it interesting. Although it was set only 100 years ago it felt much longer than that.
  • Is this a period of history you knew much about beforehand? Not really, so it was good to find out more.
  • Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious or light-hearted (or any combination of these)? Did this make a difference to whether or not the book was interesting/enjoyable to read? The book was both mysterious and exciting. The plot was not obvious and the twists surprised me.
  • Has the book inspired you or made you want to know more about anything? It has made me want to learn a bit more about life for ordinary people in the past.
  • Would you recommend it to other students – why? Is there anything you did not like about the book? I would recommend it to other students because it was well-written, gripping and I did not want to put it down.

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