Cover Image: The Residence

The Residence

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Member Reviews

Dark and ominous at first glance, I really wanted to love this book as I really loved Andrew Pyper's last book but unfortunately, this book just didn't work for me,  I didn't find it scary and often found myself losing interest.  To that end, it seems I'm just not the right reader for this novel.

Thank you to Gallery Books and Andrew Pyper for the arc.
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I'm not sure what to say about this book. I've not read anything in the horror genre for a long time, so it might be simply my tastes have changed. I do love historical fiction that weave some facts in and that's what made me pick this book up. It was okay. It's in the time of Franklin Pierce's presidency not long before the civil war and on the way to Washington their only living son is killed when their train derails. It goes on to introduce the grief the family went through before really getting into things that happened in the past and how his nearly estranged wife and Franklin have to work together to fight a presence in the White House. The presence wasn't a ghost but something worse or were they just crazy, driven by grief? This was well written but it lacked something. I discovered I didn't like scary books anymore but at the same time the lack of scariness was a letdown at the end. I think it tried to not be a very scary book, but used a very scary premise so when it was wrapped up, it left me  with a 'that's it?' feeling. At the same time, I was glad that it wasn't scarier. I'm on the fence, partly because of my feelings and partly because of the book. I think it's worth reading if you like semi-scary books that deal with some historical references.
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Something haunts the halls of the White House. It's 1853 and Franklin Pierce has been elected President, but the days after his inauguration aren't all that happy: he and his wife Jane move into the iconic home under a grey cloud of grief, having just lost their last son, Bennie, in a train accident. Jane is struggling to move on, and invites the infamous Fox Sisters (a real world duo of "psychic mediums" -- later proved to be charlatans) to perform a seance to contact Bennie. Unfortunately, it's not Bennie they reach, and soon a darker entity is prowling the halls. At the same time, there's a subplot involving the push towards the abolition of slavery, and the appearance of spirits of those enslaved people who died in the construction of the White House. 

There are few things scarier than politics. Pyper takes that foundation and makes it EVEN scarier by adding ghosts and a historical, fact-based framework (everyone knows Old Timey Ghosts, especially Old Timey Children Ghosts, are the scariest of ghosts). The story unfolds in a very cinematic fashion, and the period of real-life characters have clearly been thoroughly researched. This is a spine-tingling spooky tale perfect for anyone who likes to stay up late into the night, flinching at every creak and thump.
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When I read the premise of the book I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I oftentimes forced myself to read it. I didn’t find it scary. It was just kind of sad. 

Just not the book for me. I’m sure others will like it. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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After multiple attempts to finish this book. I must set it aside.  It just wasn’t the right fit for me.

Thank you to Gallery Books for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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This is a awesome book.  It is a great book and will be a nice additions to our collection.  When this book was given to me I was not aware I needed to read and review, I thought it was something I could just read at my leisure.
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I am sad to say that I did not enjoy this book much.  The Premise of a white house haunting based on some true historical facts made me excited to jump in but it didn't hold my attention very long  There were a few creepy, haunting moments that made me hold on.  But in the end I just couldn't hold my attention and I kept thinking about what I could be reading. I didn't care much for the characters in the story either - which I think makes a big difference.  I love the elements of true story in here, but the horror/haunting pieces didn't work for me.

I see so many good reviews for this book and I'm glad that those folks found this book. Not every book is for everyone - is something that I feel like I'm saying a lot these days... on to the next.

#NetGalley #TheResidence
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This book had its ebbs and flows but overall, it was a fairly interesting read. I requested the book because I love the idea of combining historic events in a fictionalized way and the story of Franklin Pierce living in a haunted White House was a genius move on the part of the author. Andrew Pyper painted Pierce in a sympathetic manner, making him likable and relatable. Jane, on the other hand, was grating and completely unlikable. Her secrets and the things she did behind her husband's back erased any sympathy I had for her after losing her son. 

Having said all this, I thought the book would be spookier. Granted, a room with a creepy ghost baby is pretty creepy, but I never got the satisfaction of reading a really great ghost story.
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Do you enjoy atmospheric ghost stories with a literary bent to them? Then you will not want to miss The Residence by Andrew Pyper’s. Many of the reviews have said this is up to par for the author by this is my first read by him. I am thankful to NetGalley that this book  was put on my raider. I have been doing readathons to try and get my self out of my reading slump and finished this at 1am. Even though my review is delayed with the publication I loved the spooky factor. I felt like this could be part of an episode of Supernatural and considering it is one of my favorites shows I am here for it for sure. The Residence is historical fiction, a fact I did not realize when I picked it up, and I thought the setting gave it a wonderful, Gothic sensibility. I requested this book on an impulse because I loved the concept and the cover. But this story is not only creepy and terrifying in places, but it is also quite sad. I loved this combination of terror and emotion when you add the lyrical writing style it is magical. 

The story takes place in 1853 and follows the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce and his wife Jane, and their terrifying experiences in the residence of the White House. The story opens with a personal tragedy. Right before the inauguration, Franklin, Jane, and their eleven-year-old son Bennie are traveling by train when the train goes off the rails and Bennie is instantly killed. Jane is destroyed, having already lost two other sons to disease and complications with childbirth, and she refuses to participate in her duties as First Lady. Instead of doing her duties she urges Franklin to get someone to fill in for her at the important events. Instead of trying to function and try to get better Jane spends her time in a room across the hall that was suppose to be Bennies room where she spends her time writing letters to her dead son. 

She is so at a loss that she invites the Fox sisters to do a séance in order to communicate with Bennie. She gets so much more then she bargained for when the séance brings forth a demon who has been attached to her since childhood and is hell bent on bringing destruction to everyone it comes across. This was so creepy that it had me jumping at my own shadow. It has elements of the obvious ghosts as in Bennie, but it also has moving dolls that gave me Chuckie vibes. Both Franklin and Jane see ghosts of their dads and that adds to the sadness because Jane feels responsible for her father’s death because of the close relationship with the demon she calls Sir. 

The creepy atmosphere the sad circumstances that led to everything taking place makes this one of those reads that can really scare you. This is a very short book that packs a very big punch. I know I mentioned that this is a historical fiction and out side of a few mentions of Franklins leadership skills and democratic choices this is more of a spooky story meant to chill you to the bone. Not only do I recommend this to everyone who loves a good scare I recommend going back and reading more books by this author like I plan to. 4.5 stars a solid spooky read.
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The Residence by Andrew Pyper is a haunting ghost story set at the White House in 1852. Franklin Pearce has been elected as the U.S. President and is on his way to Washington, D.C. or the inauguration with his wife, Jane, and their son Bennie. The trip will forever change their lives as the train crashes and Bennie is the killed. Jane's devastating grief keeps her from attending the inauguration and when she finally returns to the White House loud noises and strange appearances start to plague their lives. The Pearce's will need to stand up to the ghosts, demons and others who are haunting the house in order to move on with purpose and free from fear. 

There are many stories, in real life, of ghosts and strange visitors to the White House. This story brought to life the horror of those encounters and was a gripping tale!  I would recommend this book to anyone who is a horror fan! Thank you to NetGalley for the e-ARC and the opportunity to review this book!
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This book is historical fiction, based on true events. Basically it's a novelized version of President Franklin Pierce and his wife and their experience with conjured ghosts or demons. At first I was completed bored by the historical aspect of it. I was just in it for the ghost story. Then the ghost story was fairly lackluster to me. I wasn't convinced by any of the characters. I didn't understand the dynamics of any of them. There were a few portions of the story that really clicked with me, but the rest I felt like I was reading just to get through it. I might consider another book by this author, but not if it's a similar format. I appreciate that some people might enjoy a story like this, but overall it did not work for me.
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I received a copy of this novel through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have heard many great things about Andrew Pyper through authors I follow on social media who’s works I enjoy and decided to give this book a try.  

From the first pages I knew I was hooked.  The way the author weaves the tale that is part truth, part fiction is so all engrossing that I found it hard to have to put this novel down.  The pages seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was reading the final sentences, wishing that the story would continue.  

The characters have depth, they allow you to feel the things they are feeling.  So many times through this novel I found myself so engrossed in the words that I lost myself and could picture exactly what was happening in the pages.  It was a completely surreal experience, one that I hope to have again in my next Pyper novel.

Highly recommend.
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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel!

I was so excited to read something scary around Halloween this year and was hoping this would be it. 

Things I enjoyed about this book:
- The setting of the White House. 
- The historical information at the end about real possible ghost sightings/experiences at the White House. How interesting!
- The writing was very descriptive and I was easily able to imagine the setting and what was happening. 

Overall I just wasn't wowed by this book. I can't put my finger on it but I could not get into it. I also didn't find it very scary. Sadly, not my favorite.
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This is a story about a presidential haunting.

I’m so torn about how to rate this book.  On the the one hand, it was beautifully written, well researched, unsettling, scary and well paced... on the other hand, I didn’t
enjoy reading it... but I’m not sure that was the authors intent.

If people are unfamiliar with American history, the White House (where our presidents live) has a lot of weird, somewhat creepy history.  Including Franklin Pierce’s single term.... he was a very unpopular president.  When he was first elected, his son was killed in a train accident.  His wife Jane couldn’t manage her grief, and she wrote him letters begging him to come back, and hired various people to come to the White House and perform occult ceremonies she thought would facilitate his return.   

This book operates on the premise that she was successfully.  It’s a little history, some horror and a lot of uncomfortable because it’s such a straight on look at grief.  Does a anyone LIKE looking at that?   It’s like walking in on a private conversation, or seeing someone cry when they think no one is watching.    So how does one rate such a thing?

I’m glad that I read this, but I don’t think I’ll visit again.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Gallery Books for this e-Arc!
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I was drawn to this book because it is billed as a ghost story (based on true events) set in the White House. It’s really less ghost and more a vile, evil demon that is let in to ‘the people’s house,’ now determined to sow discord and misery around the United States and the world. No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump! This is a book review! 😏
As a fan of ‘real’ ghost stories since childhood, I am familiar with the stories of the haunted American White House throughout its history, and I was excited to read a book that explored that history. This was my first book by Andrew Pyper, but I don’t think it will be my last—the writing is really good, the historical details seem well-researched, and the author has an uncanny ability to set a gloomy scene.

This story is so dark and sad… to me, it’s primarily about the horror of loss and longing. The Pierces have endured the deaths of all of their children, and Jane Pierce in particular suffers greatly internally. Through her backstory here, we learn that Jane has always been odd, and perhaps more in-tune with spirits than her fellow humans. Once in the White House with her husband, her depression spirals and, in her grief and desire to have her dead son back, she helps bring something very evil in to the residence.

This book wasn’t the sort to keep me up at night (although, full disclosure, I did read it all in one bright, shiny day), but it definitely has its scary parts. One scene in particular where the president gets a nocturnal visitor keeps coming back to me days later and giving me the heebie-jeebies. The Residence doesn’t have a lot of jump scares or gore, but the pervasive sense of dread and creeping pursuit is really something.

I’m no presidential scholar, but I know Pierce isn’t considered one of the better ones in US history. He was ineffectual, wishy-washy and completely wrong on slavery, the most important issue of his time. I appreciate that Pyper didn’t try to change any of that by making Pierce’s character in his book some sort of hero. Through some particular ghosts and Jane’s encouragement, I got a little excited that maybe Pierce would take a stand on the right side about slavery, but while he’s adding some horror and drama to Pierce’s term, Pyper does not revise his history. Pierce is flawed and uninspiring for most of the book, but he does seem to care for his wife and grieve the losses of his children, and he ultimately attempts to do what he can to protect the future leaders of the US from the evil unleashed in the White House:

“Be gone from this place!”

Franklin’s eyes were open. Held to Sir’s.

“I live here now,” it said.

“It is the people’s house! And it is the people’s will that casts you from it!”

Ok, I know I said before that I’m not talking about Trump, but it’s hard to read that little passage from The Residence and not think of him. That’s all I’m saying.

I highly recommend this book to historical fiction/ghost story/horror fans like me. Definitely an engrossing read.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of the book in exchange for this honest review.
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President elect Franklin Pierce ,his wifeJane and his son Bennie will be moving into the White House. 
In a train accident Bennie their beloved son is killed.
This is a horror thriller based on true events. The story is amazing, scary and keeps you entertained to the very end.
Great read!
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Fascinating! I can honestly say I didn't know anything about Franklin and Jane Pierce, and this story was a fascinating way to blend history with a classic spooky ghost story! I loved the historical elements - Pyper did a marvelous job working in all of the pathos of the time, highlighting the pre-Civil War conflict on multiple levels that played beautifully into the story. Jane and Franklin were well-crafted characters, complex and wholly human. The supporting cast (ghost and human) was also very well developed, and really enriched the story with a multiplicity of perspectives and personality types. 

The plot was intriguing and took the haunted house concept in a new and wholly engaging direction that I found very entertaining. The writing is solid and the pacing excellent - there is just the right amount of give-and-take between the creepy supernatural elements and the more mundane horrors of the Pierces' lives. The blend made the story very resonant kept me furiously flipping pages from the opening salvo.

This is the second book of Pyper's that I've read - I have thoroughly enjoyed both and will definitely be on the lookout for more!
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** “The thinking of a thing gives it a reality. Every cruelty, every murder, every lie. Even the greatest atrocities begin with a harmless musing … Thinking a thing makes it want to be a thing.” **

Andrew Pyper’s “The Residence” dives into the White House residency of the relatively unknown President Franklin Pierce and his wife Jane, and the haunting time they experienced while living there.

Before Pierce’s inauguration, they lose their remaining child, Bennie, in a train wreck. Upon moving into the White House, both Franklin and Jane begin to experience haunting situations — all stemming from a presence that Jane “had brought out of the cellar shadows when she was a girl.” Jane determines: “If Franklin’s fate was the shouldering of power, hers was this: to be a bridge between the underworld and the living world she only half-inhabited ever since she took her father’s pendulum game from his desk drawer.”

Little did she know how much this childhood decision would affect her and her husband’s future.

Pyper attempts to spin an eerie tale filled with paranormal beings and spooky moments. I felt, however, sometimes the situations were a bit too contrived and the author couldn’t decide on what type of being to feature — a spirit, a witch, mass ghost groups, a demon. I feel he could have tightened up this aspect of the story a bit.

He also uses his proposed haunting to offer a political statement about the framework of America and its history. 

“The Residence,” besides being an entertaining historical piece of fiction, does offer us some interesting themes, like be careful what you think and wish for because that situation just might develop; seeking refuge; the importance of trust; at what cost does success come; and the hold loss and grief can have on us.

Some interesting historical figures make an appearance, like author Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Spiritualist Fox sisters.

Fans of historical novels, presidential stories and paranormal tales will enjoy “The Residence.”

Three stars out of five. 

Simon & Schuster provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Residence" by Andrew Pyper. I consider myself to be very well read in the genres of horror and speculative literature, but found this book to be a unique amalgam of history and supernatural thriller. While a great deal of the narrative is based on facts of the Franklin Pierce presidency and the tragedy which seemed to follow him and his family, there is more than enough paranormal elements to keep the reader engaged. A very gloomy episode of "West Wing" plus generous doses of "The Exorcist", I suppose.  ;)

The writing is smooth and easy, and penned with an interesting tone and voice. Almost archaic yet perfectly appropriate for the work. Prose is lush and full and the author does an especially great job of bouncing from present day to past to explain and plant clues as to what occurred in Jane Pierce's past which could possibly lead to such mayhem in the White House.

Tragic, somber and very well-written, the novel tells a story of grief, reckoning, duty and a moral very similar to the ending of the "Monkey's Paw"

I'd definitely recommend this work to any fan of dark fiction. An appreciation for American history would be a bonus as well.
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Eerie, intense, and sinister!

In this latest novel by Pyper, The Residence, we are transported to the White House during 1852 and into the life of the newly-elected President Franklin Pierce has he struggles with the recent loss of his 11-year-old son, a wife enveloped by sorrow, a nation fractured and heading towards war, and one special room where grief is in abundance and terror seems to like to come and play.

The prose is dark and ominous. The characters are tormented, desperate, and troubled. And the plot is a horrifying, gripping tale interwoven and steeped in the supernatural that’s full of familial drama, heartache, tension, obsession, secrets, death, hopelessness, and violence.

Overall, The Residence is a unique, dark, spooky tale that captivates from the very first page and ultimately leaves you mystified, chilled, and creepily entertained.
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