Just yesterday I finished "The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls" & even though originally I planned to write a review I don't think I'll be able to do that. I honestly can't say anything regarding the quality of the book; I'm that overwhelmed how creepy and disgusting parts of it.
I've read some good and bad reviews by now (I always read reviews after finishing a book not before) and the biggest reason for critique was, that there are supposedly to many descriptions of the creepy setting and too little plot. I disagree - or, at least, I was not bothered by that. While I love descriptions I have to confess I don't care for the plot too much, anyway, but I can see why children's books should have coherent plots and stuff, I guess. (Aaand that's a reason why I'd never write a children's book.)
At the beginning I really really enjoyed the. I liked the very likeable un-likeable-ness of Victoria & the gloomy athmosphere of Belleville & even though it was spooky indeed it was definitely a children's book.
But when it came to the events inside the orphanage I was basically ... horrified? I mean, present!Rosa was not all too scared; I slept without nightmares and stuff, but whenever I read children's lit I cannot help asking myself if past!Rosa would have enjoyed it. In this case, I'm sure I'd have been totally scared and grossed out.
I read the book in German so I cannot recall what they're called, but I was super disgusted by the descriptions of Ms Cavendish's little goblin servants! And when I realized that they are the mutilated children which haven't turned into good kids, and that their former friends eat their flesh ... D: D: D:
Also, the trope about curing people from their passions by making them overdo then or simply making the act extremely unpleasurable is quite often used, but I found it especially disturbing in this book.
I don't know if children read it differently - I quite often heard that children are less easily disgusted and creeped out than adults, so probably I'm actually too old for this book. (Well. I'm 22, which is super young, but anyway.) As I recall, I was also a very timid child that was easily frightened, so it maybe just isn't the book for me. That is to say, I'm also not a big fan of Roald Dahl of whom this book was reminiscent of. So, yeah, maybe me and Ms Cavendish's home just don't go together. I'm still glad that I read it, though, for the nicely-creepy vibe of the beginning and for holding it in my hand and looking at the beautiful cover!