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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

Through the generous offering of Net Galley, I was able to read this book before it's September 6 publication date.  It is a book written for the pre-teen set and not being a pre-teen myself, I still found this book interesting.  The premise of the story is that Florence, orphaned at five by a tragic accident, has been found in an orphanage by her long lost uncle.  She comes home to Crutchfield Hall where she is welcomed warmly by her uncle and the staff. Her aunt, however, continuously compares her to someone else and she is found sorely lacking in every area.  She then hears about her mysterious cousin, Sophia, who unfortunately passed away in a tragic accident.  Since the accident, Sophia's brother James has been closeted in his room "in poor health".  As Florence starts to feel more and more on edge, she learns about her cousin Sophia.  According to her aunt, Sophia was perfect.  According to everyone else, Sophia had some problems.  As the story goes on, Sophia begins to haunt Florence and the other members of the household.  The conclusion is gripping and was not something I saw coming.  I enjoyed the way the author introduced the slightly creepy elements to the story without beating you over the head that this was a horror story.  All in all, it was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little fright in their stories. 

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