I am ashamed to say that I have not read this book; however, I watched the movie last night. It is one of the most moving stories I have ever seen. I highly recommend it.
The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. It takes place on the Atlantic coast of Canada (New Foundland? I can't remember). I felt cold the whole time I watched it because of the dreariness of the weather in the movie. It is constantly gray and either snowing or raining, and the sea is always rough.
The characters are believable and for the most part sympathetic. I loved Judi Dench's character. Of course, I love Judi Dench, and she can do no wrong in my eyes. Kevin Spacey plays a much different character than I've ever seen him play. He is a very emotional single father who is coping with the death of his daughter's mother, who is absolutely obnoxious, and I can't say I cried when she finally bit the dust.
The young daughter is very creepy, and she has this strange connection with the house where her ancestors lived. She continually has visions and intuitions about how the house is feeling. The father also has these visions and dreams, but he doesn't admit it.
All in all, it is a very complicated plot, and much of the story is sad; however, I found the end to be incredibly uplifting. My mother says it is incredibly depressing, but I'm sticking with uplifting.