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Extended Audio Sample The House at Midnight: A Novel Audiobook, by Lucie Whitehouse Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.04 out of 53.04 out of 53.04 out of 53.04 out of 53.04 out of 5 3.04 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lucie Whitehouse Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9780739368619
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On an icy winter weekend, seven friends celebrate New Year’s Eve at Stoneborough, a grand manor in the English countryside. They’ve been brought together by Lucas Heathfield, a young man who recently inherited the property after the tragic death of his uncle Patrick. Though still raw from the loss of his last family member, Lucas welcomes this tight-knit group of friends to the estate he hopes will become their home away from home—an escape from London where they can all relax and rekindle the revelry of their college days.

Lucas’s best friend, Joanna, finds herself oddly affected by the cavernous manse, with its lavish mythological ceiling mural and sprawling grounds, and awakened to a growing bond with Lucas. Much to her surprise, he reveals that he’s loved her for years. But as they begin to find their way from friendship to romance, Joanna can’t shake the feeling that the house is having its own effect on them.

Back in London, Joanna is stunned when Lucas announces that he and their impetuous friend Danny are moving into Stoneborough full-time. Her concern seems justified as Lucas, once ensconced, becomes completely ensnared in the turbulent past that seems to haunt the house—a past that is captured in old movie reels featuring Lucas’s now-dead family: his charismatic uncle Patrick, his lovely mother, Claire, and his golden-boy father, Justin.

Over one decadent, dramatic year, as the friends frequently gather at the shadowed residence, secrets slide out and sexual tensions escalate, shattering friendships and forever changing lives. And all the while, the house cradles a devastating secret.

By turns taut and sensual, mesmerizing and disturbing, The House at Midnight is a gripping psychological novel that pulls the reader into the thrall of its ominous atmosphere.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy W'f | 1/30/2014

    " I liked this book, and shouldn't have! The author managed to hold my interest-in fact, I was riveted, could hardly put it down--and I shouldn't have been, because basically all that happens in this book is people drink too much, smoke to much, and fall into bed with various people too much! The setting is marvelous and well drawn, and the characters are not likable but they're interesting. My main complaint is that more time should have been spent on developing the theme of the "haunted" house, and less on the sexual exploits of the characters. Also, it had an extremely unsatisfying ending, which basically left too many questions unanswered. The reader was left dangling. Bait for book discussions? It just frustrated me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mireille Prusak | 1/24/2014

    " This might be the most depressing book I've ever read in my life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margo Brooks | 1/13/2014

    " Audiobook. An interesting book about a group of young men and women on the cusp of thirty reevaluating their lives and choices in the face of an unexpected inheritance of an English country house by one of the group. The house and its secrets threaten to unravel the group's cohesion. There were several places in this book when I thought that the end had come--but it hadn't. There were several disks left, so the story had to continue. When it finally did end, however, I wasn't expecting it. I liked the book, but the 20-somthing, self-focused angst, while being true-to-life, was a bit much for me. I'm glad I listened to it, but I am also glad I didn't take the time to actually read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/9/2014

    " The author attempts to make the house a looming character in its own rite, but alcohol, pot, and the machinations of one of the human characters are more menacing than the house is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 1/2/2014

    " I think this book suffers from misleading marketing. It is NOT a ghost story. And I suppose you could call it gothic if your idea of gothic is that the story contains a big English manor. That said, I did enjoy the book. It falls squarely into the group-of-college-friends-with-secrets genre. The characters are compelling, and although it drags a bit in the middle, the pay out at the end is more than worth it. Definitely a read-able first novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 12/15/2013

    " Reallly kind of boring. There was never any reason to like Lucas. The writing was good, but not the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 11/19/2013

    " Starts off slow, the last fourth of the book reads much faster and makes it worth your while. Basically, a group of friends (20ish-30ish) spend their weekends at a country home drinking and having affairs and getting into fights. There is something sinister about the house. Predictable but fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 11/1/2013

    " Good book, but I the ending pissed me off. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jessica | 9/3/2013

    " I got pissed off at the narrator and couldn't bring myself to finish it. Unsympathetic is one thing, just plain dumb is quite another. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 10/8/2012

    " This book is not what I expected....interesting descent into madness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darbi Hebrank | 9/4/2012

    " I am not satisfied. It felt there was a huge build up--for the entire book---and then a hurried ending and not even a good one. I don't like when authors force vague conclusions. I had higher expectations and will chalk it up to a writer who is depressed and wants more drama in her life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 8/31/2012

    " I don't think the author quite connected the house's history to what was currently happening to the people living in the house. It was written well, but I think it should have been edited a bit more on inner themes before it was published. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Desiree | 6/11/2012

    " This book was recommended by Chatelaine as a summer read and the our book club decided to pick it for August. It started a little slow , but once I got into it I could not put it down. I won't reveal the ending in case anyone else decides to pick it up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/12/2011

    " What a disappointment. A lot of spooky buildup for a story that turned out to be nothing more than a predictable soap opera. I'm wavering about 2 stars since it's closer to 2 1/2, but I can't bring myself to give it 3 stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiina | 5/31/2011

    " Oh no, what a bleak story. Interesting in a way and well written, but there was no hope in the story for anyone. Impending doom etc. I prefer something mire uplifting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 4/26/2011

    " I couldn't put this book down - it was on the slower side, but rich with atmosphere and intrigue. Definitely a modern gothic type of book. The ending surprised and saddened me, but I still really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah "Kat" | 2/6/2011

    " Thought this well down, well written, and moved really fast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nansi | 8/5/2010

    " Thought it was a chick lit book, but I did it a disservice. It was deeper than that - had interesting characters, a nice gothic tinge, a spooky mansion and a builds up to a good finale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsty (overflowing library) | 6/13/2010

    " really enjoyed this story and the twists and turns of it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 4/11/2010

    " I just picked this book up randomly because it looked interesting. It's a gothic-type novel set in modern day set in London and the English countryside. It was very engaging and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. This was the author's first novel- can't wait for more! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 2/12/2010

    " Reallly kind of boring. There was never any reason to like Lucas. The writing was good, but not the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy | 11/2/2009

    " Honestly, I think the synopsis throws the book a little - but still read it. Elegant and powerful, this kept me occupied last Christmas! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianne | 10/19/2009

    " Interesting read recommended by Micky at Catonsville Library. Wasn't crazy about the ending but enjoyed the book very much. "

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About the Author
Author Lucie Whitehouse

Lucie Whitehouse was born in the Cotswolds, grew up near Stratford-upon-Avon, and now lives in London. She studied classics at Oxford University, where she edited the newspaper Cherwell. The House at Midnight was her first novel and was inspired by her love of the English countryside and large atmospheric houses at nightfall.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.