The Haunting of Alma Fielding

The Haunting of Alma Fielding

A True Ghost Story

Book - 2021
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Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize

"Prepare not to see much broad daylight, literal or metaphorical, for days if you read this.... The atmosphere evoked is something I will never forget."-- The Times (London)

London, 1938. In the suburbs of the city, a young housewife has become the eye in a storm of chaos. In Alma Fielding's modest home, china flies off the shelves and eggs fly through the air; stolen jewelry appears on her fingers, white mice crawl out of her handbag, beetles appear from under her gloves; in the middle of a car journey, a turtle materializes on her lap. The culprit is incorporeal. As Alma cannot call the police, she calls the papers instead.

After the sensational story headlines the news, Nandor Fodor, a Hungarian ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical Research, arrives to investigate the poltergeist. But when he embarks on his scrupulous investigation, he discovers that the case is even stranger than it seems.

By unravelling Alma's peculiar history, Fodor finds a different and darker type of haunting, a tale of trauma, alienation, loss and revenge. He comes to believe that Alma's past has bled into her present, her mind into her body. There are no words for processing her experience, so it comes to possess her. As the threat of a world war looms, and as Fodor's obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed.

With characteristic rigor and insight, Kate Summerscale brilliantly captures the rich atmosphere of a haunting that transforms into a very modern battle between the supernatural and the subconscious.
Publisher: Penguin Group USA 2021
ISBN: 9780525557920
052555792X

Opinion

From Library Staff

NEW FOR APRIL! Adult Nonfiction. “What begins with the supernatural becomes a haunting of the subconscious in Summerscale's account of Nandor Fodor's 1938 investigation of paranormal events surrounding Alma Fielding. In an England on the brink of World War II, emotions (and spiritual disturbances... Read More »


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