Four Atmospheric Autumn Reads

I love autumn. I love cardigan weather and listening to the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack and curling up on a brisk day with a book in hand. But not just any book will do. I want something that screams "fall." Something that evokes the colors of the season, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot and the invigorating (yet slightly sinister) chill in the air. These four books are a little creepy, a little spooky, a little spine-chilling and absolutely perfect for an autumn afternoon.

 

The Haunting of Maddy Clare

Sarah Piper's life in 1920s England is defined by isolation. Until, that is, she is hired to assist Alistair Gellis, an amateur ghost hunter who has been tasked with exorcising a barn haunted by the vengeful spirit of a teenager named Maddy Clare. Sarah initially doubts that the spirit exists, but her skepticism is erased when it becomes clear that Maddy's ghost is very real, very angry and very intent on getting revenge against those who wronged her before her death. When Maddy develops a dangerous fixation on Alistair, Sarah realizes that time is running out and it is up to her to discover the cause of Maddy's otherworldly rage.

 

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Witch trial stories are always a surefire hit in the fall, and there's no better option than The Witch of Blackbird Pond. When Kit Tyler moves from Barbados to the Connecticut colony to live with her family, she is unprepared for the severity and austerity of the Puritan community. Already regarded as an outsider, Kit's independent personality and friendship with a Quaker woman soon lead to accusations of witchcraft. The finely wrought details of Puritan life in 17th century New England, as well as excellent character development, make this an exemplary work of historical fiction.

 

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

London during the Blitz is no place for children. Then again, neither is Rookskill Castle. Lady Eleanor claims that Rookskill Castle is an academy for young students who need to escape the dangers of the bombings, but when children start disappearing, fourteen-year-old Katherine Bateson quickly realizes that this school holds a terrible secret. At first, she and her companions think that a spy had infiltrated the school, but the truth is much darker than they could have imagined. Armed with a keen intellect and an heirloom chatelaine, Kat must put aside her pragmatism in order to defeat a 200-year-old magical foe.

 

Jane Eyre

This story of a resilient young woman overcoming a punishing childhood and working as a governess for a volatile yet magnetic employer has captured the imaginations of readers for more than 160 years. With its mist-shrouded moors and foreboding manor house, Jane Eyre’s Gothic atmosphere make it a go-to classic for autumn.

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