GALLOWS HILL by Lois Duncan

GALLOWS HILL

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sloppy suspense novel--Duncan (Night Terrors, 1996, etc.) unsuccessfully charts a plot full of witchcraft, ESP, reincarnation, book-burning, and fortune-telling, as well as an utterly incredible chain of events. When Sarah's mother inexplicably falls in love with Ted, a tyrant, she gives up her job and home so they can move to his small town. Since he is separated from his wife, Sarah's mother is the ``other woman'' in a Peyton Placestyle community where it is nearly impossible for Sarah to make friends. When she poses as a fortune-teller at a school carnival, Sarah actually sees the future in her crystal ball, an ability that results in the widespread suspicion that she is a witch. With a heavy hand, Duncan draws parallels to the witchcraft trials of 17th-century Salem. When Sarah faces hanging at the hands of a drunken mob of kids, Charlie--son of a bookseller whose store was torched for selling ``books that people didn't approve of''--saves her by convincing his classmates that they were all in Salem in a past life, and need to put it behind them. In addition to such implausible scenes, some subplots simply trail off, teenagers sound like adults, and too many characters are suddenly versed in witchcraft. Readers are repeatedly informed that the town is ``conservative'' and churchgoers are uniformly hypocritical. Bleakly shallow. (further reading) (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-32331-X
Page count: 221pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997




MORE BY LOIS DUNCAN

ChildrenWRITTEN IN THE STARS by Lois Duncan
by Lois Duncan
ChildrenNEWS FOR DOGS by Lois Duncan
by Lois Duncan
ChildrenSONG OF THE CIRCUS by Lois Duncan
by Lois Duncan

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LAKE AND THE LIBRARY by S.M. Beiko
by S.M. Beiko