Hot Best Seller

The House that Spoke

Availability: Ready to download

Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. She was born into it. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house o Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. She was born into it. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house once contained a terrible force of darkness that was accidentally let out by one of its previous owners. And when the darkness returns, more powerful and malevolent than ever, it is up to her to take her rightful place as the Guardian of the house and subsequently, Kashmir.

*advertisement

Compare

Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. She was born into it. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house o Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. She was born into it. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house once contained a terrible force of darkness that was accidentally let out by one of its previous owners. And when the darkness returns, more powerful and malevolent than ever, it is up to her to take her rightful place as the Guardian of the house and subsequently, Kashmir.

30 review for The House that Spoke

  1. 5 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    Zoon stays in a magical house in Kashmir with her mother. The various objects in the house can converse with her. Her mother wants to sell the house and move away. And little does Zoon know that the house once held a dark force that escaped and she is the only one who can fight it. I loved the way the book was written. And I also enjoyed the setting of the fantastical tale, which is what attracted me to the book in the first place. Kashmir is a lovely setting and Zuni talks about kehva, Dal lake- Zoon stays in a magical house in Kashmir with her mother. The various objects in the house can converse with her. Her mother wants to sell the house and move away. And little does Zoon know that the house once held a dark force that escaped and she is the only one who can fight it. I loved the way the book was written. And I also enjoyed the setting of the fantastical tale, which is what attracted me to the book in the first place. Kashmir is a lovely setting and Zuni talks about kehva, Dal lake- everything that defines Kashmir. But I thought the plot was a bit weak, one reason being there was no suspense about the villain. There were a few loopholes in the plot as well. The book is a very pretty one with illustrated pages at intervals. Zuni is a young writer with a lot of potential. I am sure she is on the path to success because she does have a way of capturing the beauty with her writing style. I think the book will be a better fit for children and pre-teens than a YA audience. Read a detailed review here - http://www.thebooksatchel.com/book-re... Disclaimer : Thanks to Flipkart and Penguin Randonhouse India for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vivek Tejuja

    For the longest time, “The House that spoke” lay on my bookshelf and somehow there was no inclination to pick it up. One of the barriers was that it is written by a teenager and somehow that thought kept becoming an impediment till it did not. Till I picked up the book and finished it over a weekend and enjoyed it a lot at that. Having said that, “The House that Spoke” also tries to pack in a lot in one book which at times does feel tedious but eventually grows on you. The book is about fourteen- For the longest time, “The House that spoke” lay on my bookshelf and somehow there was no inclination to pick it up. One of the barriers was that it is written by a teenager and somehow that thought kept becoming an impediment till it did not. Till I picked up the book and finished it over a weekend and enjoyed it a lot at that. Having said that, “The House that Spoke” also tries to pack in a lot in one book which at times does feel tedious but eventually grows on you. The book is about fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan who is instantly shown to be witty, intelligent and above-all perceptive. She lives in Kashmir with her mother in a house – which of course is a part of the title. The objects in the house converse with her. She isn’t new to magic. There are forces beyond her control that threaten to take over her life, the house and her beloved Kashmir. The book has a lot of metaphors given Kashmir’s situation as of today and that is laudable. Zuni is very empathetic in her writing and that shows. I think that perhaps when you are younger you aren’t influenced by all the writing around you. Of course you read a lot but then again, it isn’t what drives your writing. Your experiences do and after reading this book, I think Zuni’s writing comes from a more personal space (as it should). The characters could have been culled out in a more interesting manner but I guess that can be ignored given it is her first book and she is only sixteen (I think). The writing though is powerful and I loved how the narrative of historic fiction was blended in seamlessly. “The House that Spoke” will charm you, move you, and also make you think about what we’ve done to heaven on earth.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chittajit Mitra

    The House That Spoke is the debut novel of 15 year old Zuni Chopra & published by Penguin Randomhouse India. She has published 2 books of poetry prior to this novel. Her favourite authors include Neil Gaiman & Lewis Carrol. She lives in Mumbai with her parents, older brother & their 6 dogs. Our protagonist of the story is 14 year old Zoon Razdan who lives with her mom in her ancestral house, but there’s a twist! The house & Zoon can communicate with each other, because of some mag The House That Spoke is the debut novel of 15 year old Zuni Chopra & published by Penguin Randomhouse India. She has published 2 books of poetry prior to this novel. Her favourite authors include Neil Gaiman & Lewis Carrol. She lives in Mumbai with her parents, older brother & their 6 dogs. Our protagonist of the story is 14 year old Zoon Razdan who lives with her mom in her ancestral house, but there’s a twist! The house & Zoon can communicate with each other, because of some magical powers her family holds. The house is an intricate part of her life so when her mother decides to sell it & move away from Kashmir to a peaceful environment, it breaks her & she tries to sabotage the plan first by trying to get Tathi, her grandmother into it & then herself. A day before she would turn 15 a Pandora’s box of secrets & magic opens to her which reveals her destiny to fight the darkness which has caused all the havoc in the valleys of Kashmir & the death of her father. Will she be able to defeat Kruhen Chay, the darkness? Or will it be successful in spreading hatred & darkness? Read the full review here

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aruna Kumar Gadepalli

    For the 15 year old writer's debut fiction, its really wonderful story. With history, fantasy and mystery.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Nadeem

    Even in a fairy tale, Kashmir is lingering in darkness and destruction. A sterling debut by a promising 15-year-old writer. Before reading this novel, I presumed that it might be something like Coraline or The Beauty and The Beast. But after I finished reading it, I realized it was more than that, much more. It was about me and my tragedies. It was about Kashmir. My Kashmir. A burning paradise. And sadly even in a fairy tale, Kashmir is lingering in darkness and destruction. It is like reading Alic Even in a fairy tale, Kashmir is lingering in darkness and destruction. A sterling debut by a promising 15-year-old writer. Before reading this novel, I presumed that it might be something like Coraline or The Beauty and The Beast. But after I finished reading it, I realized it was more than that, much more. It was about me and my tragedies. It was about Kashmir. My Kashmir. A burning paradise. And sadly even in a fairy tale, Kashmir is lingering in darkness and destruction. It is like reading Alice in The Wonderland but a horror version of it. The House That Spoke is a story set in a Kashmir, where Pandits were still part of the community. Before violence would tear apart the harmony between two communities, living peacefully for centuries. There are three main characters in the novel. Zoon , a 14-year-old Pandit girl. Kruhen Chay (Black Shadow) a mysterious creature made of fire-less smoke and shadows. Then there is The House itself where everything is alive and speaks with Zoon. The House is made by The Guardians that protect it from the rage of Kruhen Chay. The House was once the Prison for the Khuren Chay were it was kept for centuries. But now it is on loose and on the verge to destroy The House. It is The House and The Guardians that is between its way to destroy Kashmir for once and all. The House That Spoke is a feat. The language is simple and clear. There is wit, humor, harmony, rhythm and a lot of mystery and symbolism. The picture painted by the author about the military personnel makes it clear that the feelings about the military occupation of Kashmir are same among Kashmiri Muslims and the conscious Pundit community: … I could see the first military check post, barbed wire against its pointed tip and soggy footprints made by heavy boots on every side. A man sat rigidly within it, unsmiling, clutching at the handle of a large, heavy automatic as though it were a part of him. A large red sign extended from the edge of the post, slicing Kashmir in half. Dark clouds, bone-chilling winds, and stormy rains impinge on the reader as well as on the characters within the story. The author’s attitude towards the characters is kind and gentle. Even at times, our villain -Kruhen Chay (Black Shadow) is seen with a kind eye. Characters are three dimensional and lively. As the story builds, characters come to life beautifully. Characters are drawn from a historical-mystical perspective. The theme of the book is Kashmir’s devastation and unfortunate political scenario. There is a lot of symbolism that each reader can decide differently. There is darkness, and no sunshine, as is the case with Kashmir from past many decades. The House in the novel symbolizes Kashmir upon which dreadful Darkness is looming. A new and original theme that is woven with symbols like Darkness and decaying Chinars. All elements within the plot are carefully formed within the story. There is suspense, mystery, thrill, and tragedy – all molded together artistically. A sense of cold and harsh atmosphere is evoked while reading, as the novel is set in chilly winter. I wish I knew Zoon personally. I wish I knew them all and I wish they were still part of us. But it all was destroyed by dirty Indian politics. Zuni Chopra’s style is poetic -sweet and soft with a twinge of darkness. As far as my knowledge goes, this is the first fairy tale written in English on Kashmir. There is a lot of scope for other writers willing to create a subcreation on Kashmir and related issues. The cover of the novel is as fairy-like as the novel itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meera Nair

    The House That Spoke is a story of how darkness makes its way into Kashmir, in the form of a demon that haunts Zoon’s house as well as the growing socio-political tension in society courtesy of militants. At 14 years of age, Zoon is a very spirited young girl, unaware of the power her lineage has. But as her fifteenth birthday looms near, she begins to realize that the strange occurrences are tied to her father’s bloodline, generations of Guardians meant to protect Kashmir and all of its inhabit The House That Spoke is a story of how darkness makes its way into Kashmir, in the form of a demon that haunts Zoon’s house as well as the growing socio-political tension in society courtesy of militants. At 14 years of age, Zoon is a very spirited young girl, unaware of the power her lineage has. But as her fifteenth birthday looms near, she begins to realize that the strange occurrences are tied to her father’s bloodline, generations of Guardians meant to protect Kashmir and all of its inhabitants. At this point, it’s no surprise that I enjoy reading peculiar books. And if the title wasn’t explanation enough, EVERYTHING in Zoon’s house “speaks”. Remember the enchanted household objects in Beauty and the Beast? Exactly like that! Although, the books flinging themselves off the shelves was always a cringe-worthy moment. I liked the plot, despite its very obvious tropes of “the chosen one” and darkness being equated to the villainous component. I LOVED the setting and how the author weaves a tale around the realistic situation in Kashmir; bringing to light the troubled lifestyle of locals who have to be on guard, lest they get caught in the crossfire between governmental troops and rebel militants. Zuni Chopra’s writing style perfectly reflected the cold, hilly vibes which makes this an apt wintery read. Most of the times, I enjoyed the conversation between the household objects because their personification was interesting to observe. But I found it quite surprising that Zoon’s mother never really caught on to that. And try as I might, I couldn’t bring myself to connect with or remotely like the protagonist (Zoon!). She was unnecessarily rude. And even though the burden of protecting her hometown ultimately lands on her shoulders, I couldn’t digest her butting into matters that were beyond her maturity. As far as I’m aware, in a household, you wouldn’t see 14 year olds making life-changing decisions or even intervening in such conversations between the elders. Zoon’s mother and Tathi (grandmother) are the two supporting characters. They come across as very affectionate and lenient, but shockingly they weren’t involved in the life threatening situations, even a least bit. The cover of this book and the illustrations on some of the pages is absolutely gorgeous. All in all, I didn’t like this novel as much as I had hoped to. Nevertheless, I’d recommend it to younger audiences. What do you get out of it? Those in and around the age group of 14 years may enjoy this a lot more than I did. That aside, this book captures a realistic portrait of the social scenario in Kashmir and envelops you in the vivid imageries of a winter wonderland.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Interesting premise of a house that is guarding a secret evil that escapes and then unleashes evil. The house itself is one of the characters and all objects have a voice. Would be good to know if it reflects any Indian mythology.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Swapna

    Other than the beauty of Kashmir which is captured nicely, this book is utter rubbish.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pratibha

    Somewhere around 3.5/5

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachna

    The story is just engaging enough but what I really liked was the imagery painted with her words. Will surely be looking forward to her books as she grows older and experienced!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ishita

    In her debut novel, the author, Zuni Chopra, doesn’t just make a house speak, she makes the Kashmir valley sing with ferocity – of yearning for its glorious past and longing for a present that stills its beauty as an untarnished snapshot. The prose in this book is absolutely gorgeous. The author infuses magic and personality into everything around Zoon, be it the house she has grown up in (which, quite literally, holds magic) or the valley that makes up her entire world. So whether it is a firep In her debut novel, the author, Zuni Chopra, doesn’t just make a house speak, she makes the Kashmir valley sing with ferocity – of yearning for its glorious past and longing for a present that stills its beauty as an untarnished snapshot. The prose in this book is absolutely gorgeous. The author infuses magic and personality into everything around Zoon, be it the house she has grown up in (which, quite literally, holds magic) or the valley that makes up her entire world. So whether it is a fireplace being possessive about his fresh stock of logs, or a wise-sounding armchair maintaining order among bickering bookshelves, you just buy into her imagination of the house and what it stands for. I loved the fact that the author didn’t write this book from any political standpoint. She also steers clear of demonizing any country, religion or military institution. The book is deeply allegorical, and through the idea of Zoon being a “Guardian” of her house, the author explores what it means to call a geographical area your home, and to what extent is it your duty to guard it. The “villain” of this story is basically the manifestation of all things vile and sinister plaguing the valley, and I loved how the book conveys the idea of securing your home, purging or keeping “evil” at bay, before expanding the same to your town or city. This was magical realism at its whimsical best, the kind where even “non-magical” mundane moments are elevated to something else. There is humor in everyday observations; my favorite was probably the one where walking across a floor of people in sleeping bags was likened to navigating through fat bed bugs. The only criticism I can make is this – there were times when I felt the writing was too wordy. It got better as the book progressed but I did struggle with the initial chapters – especially with too many sentences like this: “Instantly, every man on the doorstep felt suffused with a cosy, quiet calm – not a heated, eerie sort of silence, but the calm that wafts like pure cotton around one’s healing heart” There are a few passages that are set in 16th/18th century to give some context about the history of the house and its magical origins. However, such parts are kept to a minimal in the book, thereby avoiding info-dump and slowing down the present-day plot. Moreover, the theme of this book is such that it doesn’t really need a fleshed out background to convey ideas effectively. However, I did feel that we didn’t get to know Zoon’s mom as much as we should have. I wasn’t sure about how much she was privy to regarding the house’s history. I didn’t connect to her and to her and Zoon’s relationship as much as I should have through most of the book. The last few pages did make up a bit for it though.. In contrast, Zoon’s grandma had a much more compelling presence and relevance to the story, and with Zoon’s new-found friend Altaf, and some neighboring families completing the secondary cast of characters, there are enough human stories to keep us invested in their lives. I can’t recommend this book highly enough; especially since this is a recently released book with not much buzz in the blogging community… Do check it out, it is a precious little gem of a novel!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)

    For full review please visit https://booksteaandmorecom.wordpress.... Rating: 3.5 A small haven of wonder lies amidst the shrubs and trees and is hidden in isolated bliss. This is the house of Zoon Razdan where she lives with her mother. The house is woven with a sense of magic where one can talk with the armchair, fireplace, books, the portraits. All things inanimate come to life in this magical haven. Zoon loves the house and feels an indomitable bond to all the objects in the house but all is n For full review please visit https://booksteaandmorecom.wordpress.... Rating: 3.5 A small haven of wonder lies amidst the shrubs and trees and is hidden in isolated bliss. This is the house of Zoon Razdan where she lives with her mother. The house is woven with a sense of magic where one can talk with the armchair, fireplace, books, the portraits. All things inanimate come to life in this magical haven. Zoon loves the house and feels an indomitable bond to all the objects in the house but all is not well, as Kashmir simmers with violence every passing day, Zoon’s mother decides to sell the house and leave. Zoon needs to stop her mother at all cost but what can a fifteen years old do. Amidst her tryst to save her house Zoon discovers some greater responsibilities. She needs to wage a battle with a sinister darkness and the well-being of entire Kashmir is dependent on this. The author has a lot of clarity in the writing and the description is strong. The period of increasing turmoil and strife in Kashmir has been beautifully crafted. The author has been brilliantly able to bring out the everyday hardships of people in Kashmir which you can connect to. Zoon having a conversation particularly with the armchair, books and fireplace were my favourite parts as there was an innocence to it. At times some of the sentences in the book I found a little too long which diluted the essence. This book captures your attention from the first chapter itself and has an immersing characteristic to it. The latent factors and symbolism have been crafted very well. The anguish and pain of leaving one’s home are beautifully portrayed. On a deeper introspection, the novel made me realise that when it comes to protecting one’s home we all have an innate strength that transcends age or strength. Secondly, problems which cast its darkness very often we try to push them and fail at it, what I realised was one has to permeate this darkness and have the courage to look in its eye. We then emerge out stronger.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sunny Adruza

  14. 4 out of 5

    Varusha Khare

  15. 5 out of 5

    Neeraj Jain

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stuti Shrimali

    Storyline: The book is about Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan who is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house once contained a terrible force of darkness that was accidentally let out by one of its previous owners. And when th Storyline: The book is about Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan who is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. The house that she lives in is fantastical—life thrums through its wooden walls—and she can talk to everything in it, from the armchair and the fireplace to the books, pipes and portraits! But Zoon doesn’t know that her beloved house once contained a terrible force of darkness that was accidentally let out by one of its previous owners. And when the darkness returns, more powerful and malevolent than ever, it is up to her to take her rightful place as the Guardian of the house, and subsequently, Kashmir. What I think about the book: A great book for kids or teenagers not so much for your adults. She has written brilliantly considering she is only a 14 year old e.g. use of metaphors to explain the situation in Kashmir and the way the story is weaved, is commendable. But it looses the grip sometimes. Starting could have been better, it didn't hold my attention but as the story progresses, it did kept me interested. As you read, you would really want to know what happens next. I am sure with this calibre at such young age she will sure get success in the world of writing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Geet.a

  18. 4 out of 5

    Riddhi Shah

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ankitaa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kearstyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Poop

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dipali Gupta

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mrinal

  24. 4 out of 5

    SUBHRANIL MANDAL

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lilly M.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirat Talwar

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anju

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cyber

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Choudhary

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.