When the parents of Miles and Flora died, their uncle did not wish to raise them, so he hired a governess. The governess arrives at rural Bly Manor to find two sweet children - one of whom has been recently expelled from boarding school. She also begins to see spectral characters wandering the estate. The specters appear to be the ghosts of Miss Jessel - the previous governess - and Peter Quint - another employee of the uncle. In life, Jessel and Quint had a close relationship with the children and this relationship seems to continue after their deaths.
Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is a gothic ghost story, told in a mostly straightforward narrative. The young woman arrives and experiences the haunting and tries to protect the children under her care, fearing that they were corrupted by the ghostly couple before and after their deaths. The story is told in the first person with the unnamed governess acting as narrator, so we never know for sure if the ghosts exist outside of her own mind.
The American James does a good job in creating an English story and we get a feel for the gothic atmosphere and the British dialogue.
The author's biggest problem is that he frequently uses ten words to express a thought when five would easily do. As a result, his writing comes across as pretentious. It was difficult for me to get past this and enjoy the story.