Thursday, December 13, 2012
Book Review -- "The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall" by Mary Downing Hahn
If you haven't suspected already, I kinda like to read. And I have a love for children's literature. In another life I'll own a completely self-sustaining children's book store in a small mountain town with two store cats, old comfy couches with big pillows, and a coffee shop. You can crochet in the coffee shop while you watch "Road to Avonlea" episodes on the ancient tv. You'll love it. Trust me.
My sister is an avid reader too, but she's more of a fan of adult fiction... lately she's been dying to get me to read Ken Follet's "The Pillars of the Earth." And I have tried. I know eventually I'll read it, but it's such a huge book it's intimidating to me right now. I like to read in small bits. Preferably before bedtime for about 15-20 minutes at a time. With my well-loved "old-style" kindle.
Most recently I finished "The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall" by Mary Downing Hahn. It was a kindle daily deal a few weeks ago and I remembered really enjoying some of Ms. Hahn's other books when I was young. Thought I'd give it a try. I'm not normally a big fan of ghost stories (as a matter of fact I generally avoid them)... but if it's meant for children surely it can't be TOO scary.
The book is about a young orphan named Florence, who finds out she has living relatives and she is sent to live with them at their large manor house around the turn of the century. The story was very reminiscent to me of "The Secret Garden." There's a "secret" child in the house, a kind Uncle, a caring nurse-maid for the children, and even a garden (albeit, not secret!) but additionally in this story... a ghost. The ghost of a child who once lived there and who is not happy about her death. There were times I found the story to be a bit scary. The ghost is very active and has a large role in the story. The characters while somewhat flat, do have unique personalities and interesting back stories.
Overall I enjoyed the story and I actually liked the similarities to "The Secret Garden" since I'm a big fan of that book as well. I wasn't thrilled with the ending of the book though. I felt like the reader was left hanging (which may be on purpose?) but I generally prefer a more concrete ending.
Still if you're a fan of children's literature and enjoy period ghost stories, this book might be a good fit for you!
I enjoyed the book enough that I decided to purchase one of Mary Downing Hahn's very first books written in 1986, "Wait Till Helen Comes." I remember reading this when I was young, but I don't remember the details of the book so I look forward to meeting the characters and the story again.
What are you reading?
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