The Turn of the Screw Review
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
Honestly, it would be easier if you just googled the synopsis...
I had heard of this story before. Back earlier this year when I read The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, I heard this short story was an inspiration to that. I had not enjoyed The Turn of the Key so I had no urge to pick up The Turn of the Screw. But then a couple of months ago I heard there was going to be a second season of the Netflix show ~ The Haunting of Hill House, this new season would be pulling inspiration from The Turn of the Screw. After hearing this, I then decided to pick this up and see what this short story was all about.
Before I had started this, I read several reviews. Mostly negative about this short story. So many complained about just how hard this was to read. I agreed with that completely. This was painfully slow. The writing was just so hard to understand. Even when I was wide awake I felt as if I was the world’s slowest reader. I constantly had to reread pages, often needed to go back and reread previous pages for something I missed.
I felt as if I was the world’s slowest reader. I constantly had to reread pages, often needed to go back and reread previous pages for something I missed.
The story is set up as a letter the governess has written to explain the events that occurred. It follows the governess who’s one rule is to never contact the uncle. Odd, but okay. Shortly after starting, she starts to see ghosts of past workers of the house, including her predecessor. However, she’s specifically told they did not die at the manor. They died shortly after leaving the manor. This all sounds interesting and I felt I would have enjoyed this if it weren’t so hard to read.
I think it’s just the fact that this was initially released back in 1898. This is an old story. There were just phrases and word choices that just didn’t fully make sense. Plus the paragraphs were just so long. Unnecessarily long. Filled with rambling thoughts often in a run-on sentence. I think it would be interesting if someone were to rewrite this story today. I did think the premise was interesting, despite being hard to follow.
Reading this I can definitely see the inspiration this sparked for The Turn of the Key. This follows a nanny who wrote a letter pleading to a lawyer to take on her case as she was innocent in the death of a child she was caring for. The set up is almost identical, but overall the stories are completely different. As I mentioned, I did not enjoy The Turn of the Key either.
Reading this I can definitely see the inspiration this sparked for The Turn of the Key.
I had hoped to have gotten a chance to watch the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor. I haven’t watched this yet, so my thoughts on the inspiration and similarities between this short story and the show will have to wait. Sorry!!
Overall, I didn’t enjoy reading this story but it was interesting to see this as an inspiration for so many other books and films. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to pick this up. You could probably read the synopsis and you’d get the gist of the book. It would save you a lot of time. But I mean, you totally could read this if you really wanted to! No one is here to stop you! Good luck if you do! But honestly, it would be easier to just google it.
I'll add my thoughts on The Haunting of Bly Manor to this review after I get a chance to watch it!