Friday, January 6, 2012

Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Ali finds a ripped photo of her Aunt Dulcie, Mom Claire, and a mysterious girl whose name starts with the letter “T”. When Aunt Dulcie asks Ali to spend the summer at their lake home babysitting her daughter, four-year-old Emma, Ali uncovers the name of the girl in the photo and her tragic death 30 years ago. Emma makes friends with a girl named Sissy who tells her and Ali about the tragedy. Sissy is a spiteful girl and causes all sorts of trouble between Dulcie, Ali, and Emma. Will the family be able to resolve the past or will another tragedy happen?

This ghost story is a quick read. I thought the plot was predictable but I did like the twist at the end with Ali sympathizing with the ghost – going so far as to let her sleep in her bed. Ali changes from being angry to understanding why the people around her act the way they do. Dulcie and Claire are crippled by their past and don’t behave as good parents or adults. Claire is manipulative and Dulcie doesn’t listen or respect Ali. Emma was bratty and sweet. They were somewhat annoying characters which made it hard for me to get into the story. The author is good at writing ghost stories but I prefer the tension and characters Hahn’s previous books: The Doll in the Garden and Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story.

Reading Level 4.0
:-):-):-) 3 out of 5 Smileys

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