56. The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn (2004)
Length: 199 pages
Started: 3 September 2015
Finished: 5 September 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 November 2014
Why do I have it? I like horror and Mary Downing Hahn is a new author for me.
The dilapidated Victorian house is empty, yet full of secrets. The locals call it ‘The Old Willis Place’, and it seems as if the decaying mansion has been there for years. Diana and her little brother Georgie have been living in the woods behind the house for quite a while now – sometimes it honestly feels like forever – and in all that time, the children have seen many potential caretakers come and go.
According to a strict set of rules, Diana and Georgie aren’t allowed to leave the property, or even show themselves to anyone. For many years, they’ve followed the rules and nothing has happened to them. Recently though, Diana has begun to feel tempted to test these mysterious rules – perhaps even break them entirely – all in the hopes of making a new friend.
When the new caretaker and his daughter, Lissa, come to live in the mansion, Diana sees her first chance to make friends. Lissa is about Diana’s age, so Diana is absolutely certain that the girls would have a lot in common; if only Diana could introduce herself. However, Diana and Georgie will quickly discover that breaking the rules can have dire consequences…
Mareena had actually requested this book for herself, since she had read Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story, another book by Mary Downing Hahn – when she was about ten or eleven years old. I actually acquired this book almost as soon as it arrived in the mail – with Mareena’s blessing – and had wanted to start reading it much earlier than I did. Apparently, my eagerness to start reading this particular book kept meeting up with the myriad other interesting books I already have on my TBR pile.
Anyway, I found this book to be thoroughly intriguing and I really enjoyed reading it. It certainly was a very suspenseful story; much more suspenseful than I was expecting from a children’s book. The plot was very well-developed, and the story well-written. In my opinion, Ms Hahn’s treatment of ghosts and haunting was unusual, and I really appreciated her rather unique perspective. I would give this book a solid A!
A! – (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight