JESSAMY by Barbara Sleigh
Kirkus Star


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The date next to the pencil mark--July 23, 1914; today's date--July 23, 1966. The name by the mark--Jessamy; the name of our heroine--Jessamy. Suddenly the closet door closes behind the present-day orphan, opens upon the housekeeper's niece of half a century ago, recuperating from a bad fall. Never losing her true identity, she inhabits the body and begins to live the life of a young girl of inferior position making herself one of a large and wealthy family. Always aware that she's an imposter from another time, yet cagey enough to pass for real, she grows fonder and fonder of her less and less lonely existence until...the closet door shuts on her again and she's back. As in most time warps, no time seems to have passed, but Jessamy remembers and regrets her loss. She returns a second and last time when the second date on the door, August 14th , corresponds; departing, she leaves behind a mystery only she could have solved: where is Grandfather's Book of Hours? How Jessamy finds it by chance in 1966 and returns it to the favorite playmate of her 1914 alter-ego, now an aged, dying man, how in between and after her sorties she makes two meaningful new friends, why she never goes back again--all tellingly told....Visits to the past with a door on the present, the interplay of personality in a middle-sized family, a poor girl making good in a well-to-do household--in one book, so much of the intrigue and fantasy that a young girl loves to daydream over.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1967
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill