catherine house

Hi friends! It’s currently snowing outside and it’s not even halfway through October yet, so i’m not sure how I’m feeling. But I do love the overcast and dark weather, which means its a good time to sit down and write a book review! Enjoy!

Synopsis & Quick Thoughts

Catherine House is Elisabeth Thomas’s debut novel. Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, the school has produced some of the world’s best minds – if you can get accepted and stay the three years completely removed from society and the outside world. Among this year’s incoming class is Ines. For her, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. Yet the House’s strange rules and traditions make the school feel largely like a prison, and soon Ines begins to suspect that the school might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

This book has put me into a review slump. I don’t have much to say and I don’t really want to review it, so pardon me if this review is a little short. This book was fine and frustrating at the same time. The gothic atmosphere was intriguing and the plot drew me in, but I was left with so many questions that I can’t give this book more than three stars. Seriously, nothing happens.


The best part of this book is the Gothic setting and ominous atmosphere. There’s certainly a very off-putting vibe given off throughout the book, which I enjoyed. It feels dreary and drowsy and like a good fall, dark academia read. I had a decent time while reading it, even though I don’t remember much of it now a few months later. As some other reviews have mentioned, this book depicts how people can be susceptible to cults and the main character’s detachment and dissociation present during the book made this novel extra unsettling.


This novel is forgettable. I really don’t remember much of it a few months later and I haven’t been overly excited about writing this review because of it. Apart from that, this isn’t a book with much plot progression…or much of a plot. Nor are things resolved at the end of the book. Not in an ambiguous-ending type way, in a blunt, no explanation about anything you’ve had questions about type way. It didn’t make me think, it made me frustrated.

Rating & Final Thoughts

Catherine House gets 3 out of 5 stars. If you like dark academia or books that are plotless and don’t have much of a resolution, maybe give this one a read this fall. it’s certainly atmospheric and I found it to be mostly enjoyable. Just don’t go in with high expectations and you’ll be fine.

Purchase Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas here.

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