Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The House of Dead Maids

The House of Dead Maids

A Chilling Prelude to "Wuthering Heights"

Clare B. Dunkle; Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith

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Trade Paperback

Tabby Aykroyd thought she was coming to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be a maid, but she's not being asked to clean or cook. Then one day a man, presumably the owner of the house, shows up with a small boy. The boy insists he's the master of the house, and curiously no one disputes him. Tabby is to be his playmate. The young master is a savage little creature, but the house itself contains far worse: Scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House. Tabby is terrified for her life and the life of her young charge. But why isn't the young master afraid?

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Best Books for Young Adults



I was not the first girl she saw, nor the second, and as to why she chose me, I know that now: it was because she did not like me. She sat like a magistrate on the horse hair sofa, examining me for failings.
"Stop staring,"...



The House of Dead Maids Book Trailer

Young Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy, but there are ghosts lurking the halls, and sleeping in her bed. Clare B. Dunkle, author of the acclaimed Hollow Kingdom trilogy writes this bone-chilling story as a prelude to Wuthering Heights.


Praise for The House of Dead Maids

“Dark and beautiful, literary and lovely. . . . Worthy of sitting on a shelf next to Wuthering Heights.” —Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely

“This is literature. As such, Dunkle leaves no literary allusion untouched, no symbolic leaf unturned, in her quest to reveal the origins of Heathcliff and his unearthly yearning for Catherine Earnshaw-Linton.” —San Antonio Express-News

“[A]n intriguing, enthralling prequel . . . beautifully written and compelling . . . Tabby's tale will carry you along to its chilling end.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“[A] beautifully written, dark tale . . . Those who have read Wuthering Heights will appreciate this brilliant, lyrically written tale, but it will engage even those who haven't read Bronte's masterpiece.” —Buffalo News

“An engrossing thriller and worthy companion to its classic literary inspiration.” —The Horn Book, Starred Review

“Dunkle has incorporated real people (Tabitha Aykroyd was the Brontës' housemaid, well-known for telling her young charges ‘otherworldly tales'), fictional characters (the boy is revealed to be a young Heathcliff), and the ancient Druidic practice of human sacrifice into a tense tale of supernatural doings.” —School Library Journal

“[Dunkle] channels Brontë's gothic atmosphere for a tale more thoroughly soaked in ghostly mayhem. . . . a fantastic, Shirley Jackson–style climax.” —Booklist

“For readers familiar with Brontë's novel, the final connection is a masterstroke; even those who don't get it will find this a keeper.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The eloquent and proper style of the language, dialogue, ghostly descriptions, and chapter drawings contribute to the feeling of dread and fear at Seldom House. Young adult fans of Gothic novels are sure to enjoy this intriguing introduction to Heathcliff and use it as a lead into the discovery of Wuthering Heights.” —Library Media Connection

“Be prepared with multiple copies of Brontë's classic, as Dunkle's darkly beautiful imagery and spooky setting will so thoroughly draw young readers in that they will be compelled to at least take a look at her inspiration.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Clare B. Dunkle; Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith

Clare B. Dunkle is the author of the acclaimed Hollow Kingdom trilogy, as well as By These Ten Bones and The Sky Inside. She lives with her family in San Antonio, Texas.

Clare B. Dunkle

Patrick Arrasmith

From the Publisher

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