Age Range: 12 - 18
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A girl dominated by her fanatically religious father tries to escape when he confines her inside a haunted house.

Jen knows her father is approaching insanity in his religious devotion, but since the death of her alcoholic mother, she has been trapped. When her father takes a job as the offseason caretaker of a notoriously strange hotel, she immediately senses danger. Jen gets vivid visions of the previous occupants. The building formerly had been a Catholic home for unwed mothers, run by a monsignor who, if his ghostly apparitions are accurate, was an evil and abusive person; the nun also in charge was no better. Jen finds herself endangered not only by the house, but by an apparently unhinged local boy who attacks her when she refuses his advances. Jen frequently draws from a stash of drugs she has hidden to escape mentally from the stress, but she begins to realize that she must actually escape the house. Scenes of the miseries inflicted on the building’s previous occupants are interspersed with Jen’s narration, ramping up the tension. As events build to a truly frightening climax, Jen may have to rely on something supernatural to save her. Sheff writes solid suspense that recalls the classics: both Stephen King’s The Shining and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, among others.

A solid and quite frightening tale of the supernatural. (Horror. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-233709-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015


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