Dundurn Press, 2012
From the Publisher:Twelve-year-old Willa Fuller is convinced that the old folks in the shabby boarding house down the street are prisoners of their sinister landlady, Miss Trang. Only when Willa is hired on as housekeeper does she discover the truth, which is far more fascinating.
Eldritch Manor is a retirement home for some very strange beings indeed. All have stories to tell — and petty grievances with one another and the world at large.
Storm clouds are on the horizon, however, and when Miss Trang departs on urgent business, Willa is left to babysit the cantankerous bunch. Can she keep the oldsters in line, stitch up unraveling time, and repel an all-out attack from the forces of darkness ... all while keeping the nosy neighbours out of their business and uncovering a startling secret about her own past?
My Take:The uniqueness of this story drew me in. I really liked the premise of the house full of older, fantastical creatures and the way elements of magic were woven into the story. I also liked the writing style and the way Willa’s curiosity led her to a job working inside the house.
The characters all had interesting and different personalities and the story moved along at a good pace. I wished that Willa’s relationship with her mother was developed a little more, but maybe that will happen in the sequel. Overall, this charming but scary book was an entertaining read, especially if you like imaginary creatures (and battles with the dark side).
“As she tumbled over the handlebars of her bike, twelve-year-old Willa Fuller decided that this had to be the absolute worst day of her life so far.”
“You want to know if there is magic out there in the world. Well…that depends on who is doing the looking.”
“As they turned the final corner Willa’s thoughts were interrupted by the sight of the house blanketed in heavy fog and darkness, a cloud of black birds floating overhead.”
Kim Thompson lives on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada. She is also a film-maker and television writer.
Eldritch Manor is Kim Thompson’s first published book.
This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading for 2014 in the Silver Birch (Fiction) category.
For more info, visit Kim Thompson’s website.
You can find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday books by checking out Shannon Messenger’s blog! Shannon is the founder of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and the author of the middle grade novels, Keeper of the Lost Cities and Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2).