A HAUNTED YEAR by Ann Phillips


Age Range: 9 - 13
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 From infancy and the first thrill of playing ``peek-a-boo,'' we mortals love a good jolt of fear. And that's what Phillips delivers--but only now and then. Her premise is chilling: Florence summons long-dead cousin Georges back from the grave, yet he comes so easily that the reader wonders if a page or two can have been missed. The tingle of fear returns when she tires of her demanding playmate but can't rid herself of him. Florence endures a spate of haunting, leavened temporarily by the distractingly good company of some flesh-and-blood cousins at Bellfield, but the not-so-ghostly Georges follows Florence even to this Shangri-la and takes a fancy to Nellie, a dark, quiet cousin who falls wholeheartedly under his spell. Narrating so matter-of-factly that even the best of the shivers are reduced to vague chills, Phillips never quite pulls her puzzle's pieces together. The events are set in England in 1910, when ghost stories abounded, and are interwoven with sundry historical tidbits in an ambitious attempt to re-create something that Florence herself might have read. A hauntingly good idea; unfortunately, it never fully materializes. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-774605-4
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994