Skip to main content

Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

Emerald Fennell is maddening. She is the daughter of a successful jeweler, she studied English at Oxford, she stars in BBC's extremely popular show Call the Midwife, and to top it all off, she wrote this excellent book.

She also looks like this, which is just rude

You might recognize her from GIFs I've shoved at you of Call the Midwife's couple Patsy and Delia. They're the greatest. Just look at them:

But let's get away from three-dimensional, well-crafted 1960s lesbian couples on television and get into this three-dimensional, well-crafted 2013 book. Shiverton Hall follows a long line of predecessors in that it's set at an English boarding school. Inevitably comparisons will be drawn to Harry Potter, but that is silly and cut it right out. Shiverton Hall is much darker than Harry Potter ever pretended to be. (except for maybe the time that snake came out the old woman's mouth and she collapsed in a flesh pile)

Shiverton Hall is about a boy (Arthur) who has been sent to a new school (Shiverton) after some unpleasantness at his old school (unpleasantness unnamed until end of book). Shiverton is an old English estate built by the most profligate of profligates. "Do we get stories of his profligacy?" you ask? YES. The structure alternates between the current day story of Arthur and his friends, and italicized tales of Shiverton Hall's terrifying past.

And it is terrifying. Fortunately not the kind that keeps you up at night, hearing creaks and thinking whatever's in the book is about to get you, but rather the kind where you read a line and say "Fuckfuckfuckfuck."

Which is obviously the fun kind.

There are two books so far in the Shiverton series (I bought the second before I'd finished the first), and upon finishing this one, I immediately googled "third shiverton book." The characters are likable, there's a Giles-from-Buffy-type teacher, and it's made me never want to think about my imaginary friends from childhood again.

I hope the series continues for as long as Emerald Fennell can keep thinking up horrible things to haunt Shiverton Hall. Because I am 100% there for all of that.


  1. I am an event photographer, I love the event venues Chicago, and I will revisit this venue in a heartbeat. They have really great staff and pretty decent drinks. Their halls and rooms are absolutely gorgeous.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.

You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:

We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.

INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

The Women's March 2018: Be Seen, Be Heard, Stay Angry

On January 20th, 2018, Chicago will host a second Women’s March. Those who attended the first remember the astounding numbers, miraculously warm weather, and surge of energy across the nation as America’s women stood up and said “we are here and we are angry.” 

So we did it. Our elected leader who bragged about sexual assault and who has made countless denigrating remarks about women is still in charge. Why are we marching again? 

 There is a tendency in any movement for things to lag. People become complacent, they accept their new reality, and think they can make no change. It makes sense that after the draining year that 2017 turned out to be — a year where one could constantly feel buffeted on all sides by waves of racism, misogyny, cruelty, and disregard for the planet — after that exhausting year, why should people come out in January weather to stand in the streets once again and say “We are still here and we are still angry”? 

 The answer is because without that voice, and withou…