The Children's Home (Paperback)
January 2016 Indie Next List
“Tragically disfigured and reclusive, Morgan lives in a secluded country estate with only his housekeeper, Engel, to keep him company -- until the children start to arrive. The first, an infant named Moira, is left in a basket on the doorstep; others soon follow -- including the oddly precocious David -- the eldest at five years old. But what does the children's enigmatic presence portend for Morgan and the world in which he lives? Through lyrical prose, Lambert creates an absorbing and dream-like narrative that recalls both the pastoral gothic of Shirley Jackson and the dystopic vision of John Wyndham.”
— Dan Doody (W), University Book Store, Seattle, WA
'This disquieting novel is surely one of the year's most bizarre stories...' The New York Times
A beguiling and disarming novel about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor.
Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins, lives on a sprawling estate, cut off from a threatening world. One day, his housekeeper, Engel, discovers a baby left on the doorstep. Soon more children arrive, among them stern, watchful David. With the help of Engel and town physician Doctor Crane, Morgan takes the children in, allowing them to explore the mansion ... and to begin to uncover the strange and disturbing secrets it holds.
Cloaked in eerie atmosphere, this distorted fairy tale and the unsettling questions it raises will stay with the reader long after the final page.
'The Children's Home is a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the magic doesn't sparkle prettily but boils and oozes, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It is also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness.' Owen King, author of Double Feature: A Novel
' ...one book that I shall re-read and re-read again.' Postcard Reviews
'Charles Lambert's novel is entirely original ... highly compelling and invigorating writing.' Lonesome Reader
'This disquieting novel is surely one of the year's most bizarre stories... Mr. Lambert's subtle prose enhances the novel's creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.' The New York Times
'Charles Lambert has crafted an exquisitely strange and deliciously dark offering ... the narrative itself will haunt his readers well beyond the margins of its pages.' High Voltage Magazine
'The Children's Home is a haunting Gothic in the vein of Shirley Jackson, steeped with the mystery and imagination of Neil Gaiman's fairy tales. Lambert's prose is beautiful and his tale is mesmerizing.' Cementery Dance Online
'A thoroughly original entry into the tradition of ghost stories, eschewing convention. ... Compulsively readable, a one-of-a-kind literary horror story.' Kirkus
'The Children's Home is the best kind of ghost story - one that scares, one that surprises ... and one that you simply can't stop reading.' The Maine Edge
'... definitely recommend this if you're in the mood for something a little creepy.' Bored to Death Book Club
'The Children's Home may well be the most surprising, thought provoking and also baffling book I've ever read.' Bailieborough Library Reading Group
'Lambert is a brilliant writer, and his absorbing new novel, The Children's Home , is the best literary fiction I have read in some time.' Seattle Book Mama
'The Children's Home is a powerful construction of creeping dread which skilfully keeps the reader off-balance at every turn.' The Star
'There is really nothing at all in this story that isn't strange and that's what I ended up loving about it.' In a Good Book Room
'A disturbing and thought-provoking novel' Annethology
'Mysterious and weird and just a great read ' Rebecca Book Review
'Charles Lambert could one day attain classic status.' Maggie Gee
'Beautifully written and crafted, and more compelling than many thrillers' Daily Mail
'A beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise.' Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation
'This genre-bending debut is by turns dread-inducing and heartwarming, a masterful exploration of whether innocence can truly sprout from ignorance....a magical, mesmerizing tale about the courage it takes to confront the unknown.' Booklist, STARRED review
'Charles Lambert is a seriously good writer' Beryl Bainbridge.
About the Author
Charles Lambert is the author of several novels, short stories, and the memoir With a Zero at its Heart, which was voted one of The Guardian readers' Ten Best Books of the Year in 2014. In 2007, he won an O. Henry Award for his short story The Scent of Cinnamon. His first novel, Little Monsters, was longlisted for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Born in England, Charles Lambert has lived in central Italy since 1980.