The Longest Lankin of them all

Title: Long Lankin
Author: Lindsey Barraclough
Publisher: Bodley Head
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Pages: 448
Genre: Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5
Picture Perfect: Pretty perfect
Protagonist Pizzaz: Right on the money
Va va va voice: Versatile
Mph: 55

Summary from Goodreads–Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries — before it’s too late for little Mimi.

Picture perfect: Pretty Perfect
Never have I encountered a book cover that captures the essence of the story as perfectly as that of Long Lankin. You’ve got the creepy vibe going right away on a cover that really sticks out.

Protagonist Pizzaz: Right on the money
I loved and felt something for all of the narrators. I haven’t read something with multiple narrators in a long time so it was refreshing.

Va va va voice: Versatile
I felt like Barraclough did a really fantastic job at making the voices of her narrators sound authentic and different from one another. I’ve found in other multi-narrated books that the voices can sound too similar to one another. I enjoyed Cora’s narration the most, as it was full of sassy British charm. I wish there had been a chapter or two narrated by Mimi, as I think looking at the story from the perspective of a very young person would have been rather interesting. The only thing I wish is that the chapters had been a little longer. Sometimes I felt like they ended right in the middle of a sentence almost, and were just a bit too abrupt.

Mph: 55
This was what I would call a slowly unraveling story, but it unraveled at just the right pace. I was kept guessing without being completely blindsided by any nonsensical plot twists that sometimes occur when an author doesn’t know how to keep suspense running. The pace also helped keep the creepy vibe alive and well.

I really, really liked this book. I actually think it would make a great film as well, depending on who made it, of course. Barraclough including some really striking images in the book that would make for a visually powerful on-screen retelling.


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