HAUNTED WATERS by Mary Pope Osborne


Age Range: 12 - 15
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 The 19th-century tale ``Undine'' by Baron de La Motte-FouquÇ inspired this novel about a spirit-bedeviled romance between a water maiden and a nobleman. At the beginning, Osborne tells the reader what neither lover knows: Undine, one of a race ``not quite mortal, not quite fish,'' was left as a babe on an old fisherman's doorstep by an ``ancient king of the sea'' who hoped ``to mate his kin with humanity.'' Eighteen years later, Lord Huldbrand discovers the maid, and in due course they are wed. Despite evil spirits that hover about her, Undine herself seems as pure as the water to which she is so mysteriously drawn. But the couple's happiness is haunted by strange manifestations, and Huldbrand's certainty of Undine's innocence is invaded by doubt. Soon he rejects her, and Undine vanishes into what seems to be a watery grave; but as Huldbrand prepares to remarry, she reappears to take him with her to a ``piscine life'' in ``an eternity of water.'' The lushly atmospheric narrative will draw readers who enjoy dark, otherworldly fantasies. Osborne sustains the tone of menace, despite occasional lapses into the mundane. Somewhat overwritten, but true to its genre; appreciative readers may enjoy going on to Hudson's Green Mansions. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 1-56402-119-X
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1994

Kirkus Interview
Mary Pope Osborne
January 6, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour is beloved children’s writer Mary Pope Osborne’s latest entry in the Magic Tree House series and it features Jack and Annie’s most dangerous mission ever. The magic tree house has taken Jack and Annie back in time to England in 1944. England is fighting for its life in World War II. Before long, Jack and Annie find themselves parachuting into Normandy, France, behind enemy lines. The date is June 5. Will the brave brother and sister team be able to make a difference during one of the darkest times in history? “It appears there is nowhere Osborne’s Magic Tree House cannot take readers, as this successful foray suggests,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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