1 Star Reviews: House of Echoes

Originally posted 2015-10-27 12:00:05.


Title: House of Echoes

Author: Brendan Duffy

Published: April 14, 2015

Pages: 384

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Blurb (What Made Me Read the Book): 

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

Synopsis: The Tierney family moved to a remote village of Swannhaven in New York leaving behind their entire lives after they inherit land from a family member. Of course they had never met this family member (shocker) due to some weird drama with Ben’s (the lead) mother.  Caroline (his wife) lost her job and was diagnosed as bi-polar (which she is getting treatment for by talking to her therapist on the phone once a week) is now staying home and watching her two boys (Charlie,8 and Bub [baby]). Most of the story focused on Ben and his adaptation to the new town and the weird things Charlie is seeing. I would have liked to see more of Caroline and understand her emotions even though she just seemed to whine the entire book.

What happened with the town you might ask and you would have a valid question. But to be honest, I was a bit too bored to care. I did not like the subplot of letters from 1777 that were randomly placed between chapters and there were so many characters which led me to not pull together who was important and who was not. There are so many strange villagers and people that nothing seemed to have a point.


I do know that the baby (Bub) was stolen (by a man named Jojo) just in order to scare the family away from the town. However he got sick and Jojo set a fire which is how Ben found him in the cave with the weird note telling them to leave because it was not safe. Probably the only reason that I know this fact is because when I read about small children getting hurt or kidnapped, it really sticks within my memory.

How did it end? I am not really sure. There was a fire and the family ends up leaving the village. End…I think.

Why 1 Star? BORED. I am sorry to say that I was bored during this novel that I felt had a ton of promise. I could not even begin to like any of the characters. The “mysterious” family backstory was unnecessary. There seemed to be some sort of town secret going on but I could not even follow the plot or the weird subplot of the letters for that matter. I honestly cannot even tell you most of what the book was about since it just did not work for me.


Any Redeeming Qualities? Duffy is a good writer and I liked his tone, I just feel like this novel was too massive and lost focus quickly.

Have you read this book? What did you think?


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I am a 29 year old from Pennsylvania. I am married to a wonderful husband and we have two children both named after super heroes! A girl who is 4 and a boy who is 1. Most of my time is spent working, being a mom, and gaming.