Welcome back! In October, we read How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!
Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘Where He Can’t Find You’ by Darcy Coates!
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do online. You can find the recorded talk on my book club Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE BY GRADY HENDRIX – OCTOBER 2023
When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave it 5/5 stars. This is one of my favourite Grady Hendrix novels and one of the best books I’ve read this year. My favourite horror sub-genre is haunted dolls, so I was inevitably going to love this story. It was ridiculously scary, full of family drama, growth, reveals and violence. I could see this as a paranormal movie adaptation with a slasher undertone. I would give anything for it to be adapted to screen!
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave it an overall scare-factor rating of 5/5 stars. It was downright terrifying. There were so many moments I could picture vividly in my mind, and they completely unnerved me. That Pupkin was the stuff of nightmares! I honestly couldn’t cope growing up with that thing – and I love creepy dolls!
1.) Did you have a stuffed animal you were obsessed with as a child? Tell us about it!
I had a knitted chimney sweep named Jack as a child that I adored. Now my daughter owns it. He was so cute, with his hat and broom. It’s ironic that I have since worked in the Mary Poppins Museum!
2.) How did you feel about Mark by the end of the story, versus how you felt about him in the beginning?
By the end of the story, I truly sympathised with him. He was so unlikable in the beginning but as the chapters progressed, we learnt why. In my opinion, he came through for his family. His character development was one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much.
3.) Being unable to communicate and confront death caused a lot of issues amongst the family. Discuss.
From a young age, both siblings were discouraged from discussing death with their parents or anyone around them. It made it difficult for them to come to terms with anyone’s passing, which ended up causing a lot of issues between them as adults. As we saw, that continued with Louise’s daughter. Unless we break generational trauma, we are doomed to repeat it.
Easy: What is the name of the imaginary dog?
Medium: What are the woods that Pupkin likes to reside in?
Hard: What are the three steps to exorcising a demon according to Barb?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the book club, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Spider. Medium: Tickytoo. Hard: Trace, Face and Erase.