Like Watcher in the Woods (see below) this toys with communication with the beyond; however, Feil's approach is as...

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THE GHOST GARDEN

Like Watcher in the Woods (see below) this toys with communication with the beyond; however, Feil's approach is as literal-minded as Randall's is high-flown. Jessica, visiting Cape Cod for the summer while her parents are off with a Nepalese guru, is at first bitingly critical of her Aunt Eunice's commune friends--though her unspoken dismay at their Indian bedspread clothes, Tamari sauce cuisine and ""far out"" vocabulary comes about five years too late to be funny. Later, when she makes friends with Christina (whose family is as perfect as a ""TV advertisement"" and hence even worse), the two girls devote themselves to calling up ghosts--especially young Fanny who lived long ago in the secret room of the commune's attic, and Sadie Lovett whose tombstone they find in the Truro graveyard. With the help of the paperback ""A Witch's Guide to Gardening,"" the girls grow their own material for spells, and their interest in ghosts remains childishly playful until Christina starts wasting away Victorian-style. Christina's death from unnamed causes leaves Jessica struggling with a double burden of guilt and betrayal--until later, in a pilgrimage to their summer garden, she decides that ""Christina had forgiven her for being twelve."" But the death is so out of synch with Jessica's earlier flippancy that it merely leaves us feeling that we've been thrown a curve. Lots of girls may like Jessica. . . for about the same reasons that we find her essentially shallow.

Pub Date: March 15, 1976

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1976