MOTH MANOR by Martha Bacon


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This fairly tame but well-appointed dollhouse story begins on the Christmas morning ""about sixty-five years ago"" when two little girls named Sylvia and Mimi Wharton are overjoyed to find the magnificent residence under their tree. Old dolls are moved in, and later, as a birthday present, Sylvia gets a beautiful new one--whom Mimi plans to marry off to their soldier doll Colonel Charles. But grabby neighbor Sam Reels interferes, and the beautiful doll, along with Mother's valuable jeweled stickpin, is lost on the day before the wedding. After that the luna moth starts showing up on moonlit nights, the dollhouse piano tinkles out its old French song, the Colonel pines, and the dollhouse is exiled to the attic--from whence strange sounds continue to emerge. Then years later a much married and widowed Mimi returns to Wharton Farms and pushes the still-bothersome dollhouse off on Sam Reels, now a greedy antique dealer bedeviled by his objects. At the same time Sylvia's granddaughter Monica comes to visit, is fascinated by the wedding story, and determines to save the dollhouse for herself and find the missing bride. She does, of course, but Bacon goes a little too far with the eleventh-hour reunion at the town dump--where all the lost things of generations convene, Sam Reels shows up as a greedy seagull, and Mimi appears in the form of a firefly. Nevertheless Sam Reels (man and boy) is a well sketched extra, and the ghostly moth adds a nice, ethereal touch of class to the properly shadowy interiors.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1978
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown