British, crime fiction, Drama

The Turn of the Key

April 20, 2020

In the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this new novel by Ruth Ware seeks to revise and update Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw for the 21st century. The result is a Frankenstein’s creature of a story set in a house that similarly-clumsily combines the Victorian with the 21st-century “Smart Home.” I was hoping this would be good enough to teach with Henry James, but it gives too much away–it does not retain the level of creepy, leaving everything to scientifically/psychologically reasonable explanations for all the weird events the nanny tolerates/survives. Who knows, I still may teach it with the James, as I think students will like discussing it.

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