Angela lives in children’s home and is always in trouble. It seems her life will be a never-ending downward spiral until she unexpectedly gets a chance to go on holiday with Aunt and Uncle. This is her chance to prove she deserves to live with them, rather than move to yet another children’s home. However, things don’t pan out the way she expects.
This is an atmospheric time-travelling novel, set in an aging French mansion. As the fast-paced plot progresses, there is a gentle spookiness brought about by things that go bump in the night and the building of suspense. Baker’s control of the time travel element is seamless, allowing the reader to buy into the shifts between eras. Those who are familiar with time travel stories will be glad to see that Angela’s actions in the past do affect the present – a mistake that often irks me.
Baker’s control of the story shines through the numerous sub-plots which exist in the story. At times I found myself doing a double-take when an element didn’t make sense. However, as many sub-plots become intertwined, more and more is revealed. By the end, everything is tied up nicely with no loose ends. Leaving the reader with a satisfaction that is so often missing.
I surprised myself as I initially didn’t think I was going to get on with the character of Angela. However, I warmed to her as the story progressed. Her actions seemed genuine and her various predicaments allowed me to build empathy towards her. Other characters all had their part to play in the plot, although I did find the odd one a bit flat and undeveloped. This is a minor qualm and one that I’m sure won’t bother younger readers.
By the end, I was gripped by the story and likewise so will younger readers. The pace of the plot, the tenacity of Angela and the ease of reading will hook children and keep them reading.
Age Recommendation: 9+
Pages: 240 pages
Publisher: Catnip Publishing