The Boundary, a legendary fog bank, hovers off the Scottish coast, drawing welcome tourists and unwelcome scientists to the picturesque village of Journey’s End; but as three preteens discover, it’s anything but benign.
Bel’s long-established family makes a living ferrying tourists out to view the Boundary and recounting spooky tales of those claimed by the fog. When Nolie, a spunky, white Georgian, arrives to visit her scientist dad, she offers the timid white Scottish girl a welcome dose of warmth and fun. Bel, recently hurt by a friend’s abandonment, and Nolie, not fully reconciled to her parents’ divorce, form a close bond. Nolie, a ghost aficionado intrigued by legends of the Boundary, becomes even more fascinated when they discover Albert wandering on the beach. Last seen in 1918 rowing into the fog, the white boy provides firsthand confirmation that the legends are true. Entwined with the contemporary story, which unfolds in a third-person narration that switches focus between Nolie and Bel, is an account of a 500-year-old tragedy: the death of a laird’s son, the nanny punished for it, and a powerful curse. Legend says the Boundary can be kept at bay only while the lighthouse is lit. Albert relit the darkened lighthouse in 1918—and was lost for a century. Should the three risk trying again?
A gently atmospheric ghost story with an intriguing setting and an appealing trio of protagonists. (Fantasy. 9-12)