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- author Jackie French

Monday 22 March 2021

Review: Storybook House

Many visible and invisible ghosts and spirits circulate within the Storybook House. A murderer lurks in the guise of friendship and loyalty. This mystery-filled, multi-layered debut novel with slow reveals, will keep you glued to your seat until the last page.

After living in one place all her life, sixteen-year old Sophie and her parents are moving to another city and into an historical but dilapidated mansion bequeathed to them by Poppy, a distant relative. It is where Sophie had spent many of her holidays roaming the rooms and secret passageways that hold more than the imagination can; as far back as the slave era.

Everyone calls it the haunted house. And that’s exactly what it is.

But her experiences at Storybook House and the people she shared them with, have been lost somewhere in her memory.

Something has caused a block and she is unable to reach them. She can’t remember her friend Charlie next door, her other mate Gus, the gardener’s son, or their countless escapades.

On a stormy night when Sophie is alone in the house, she follows a shadow down to the dock. The rotted boards give way and she falls into the water. Charlie saves her. Her memory of him and Gus returns.

It is when Gus’ ghost then Poppy’s, become visible to her, that Sophie learns there is unfinished business for her to take care of so that their spirits can cross over. Sophie now has the opportunity to discover what happened that day on the boat when Gus drowned. Was she in any way to blame? Is that why those memories are still elusive?

Secrets and mysteries are revealed that the Storybook House has hidden for years. Can ghostly bodies touch living ones? Can she find out who murdered Poppy? Sophie must uncover the murderer before the Halloween party, for that is when the sealed rooms containing bad spirits will open and chaos will reign.

Title: Storybook House
Author: Katie Jones
Publisher: New Holland, $ 22.99
Publication Date: 2 January 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760791452
For ages: 12+
Type: Young Adult Fiction