portrait by John Collier, 1914
Despite sounding like a book about exorcisms, the Demon in the House is actually a delightful story in Thrikell's Barsetshire series. The "demon" is Tony Morland. He's a charming, busy, and loving thirteen year old boy with a catchphrase of "I know" and a preternatural ability to get dirty anywhere. The action takes place during the home-from-school vacations across a year, and we watch Tony grow from knickerbockers to trousers.
His doting widowed mother, Laura, was the focus of the first Barestshire novel, High Rising, which I thoroughly enjoyed. These novels need to be read in order, to follow what is going on in the neighborhood. I made a mistake and read this as the second novel instead of the third, and there were a few times that I knew I was missing information.
The Barsetshire novels are gentle and pleasant to read, and, while I've only read the two, this series is becoming a favorite.