Read for the RIP IV Reading Challenge.
Jenny is a thirteen-year-old from New York City whose world is turned upside down when her mother marries an Englishman. The next thing she knows, she and her mother have moved to a farm in Dorset, and she’s acquired two new step-brothers. What follows is a combination ghost story, historical romance and fantasy coming of age story.
The book is written from Jenny’s point of view, looking back on events that happened six years ago. A big part of this book is Jenny doing some serious growing up as she learns to love this new place she’s found herself in, and to learn to love her new family. I loved that aspect of the story alone, but there’s more. Jenny has moved to Stourhead Farm, which has a large pile of a house that clearly has some supernatural history. There’s a boggart, a pooka, and a host of other supernatural characters, and Jenny is fascinated to encounter them. But things really get going when Jenny mets Tamsin, the ghost of the daughter of the man who originally built Stourhead Farm. Tamsin has a secret, a secret even she can’t remember, and it’s up to Jenny to figure out what’s going on, and help Tamsin finally leave Stourhead Farm.
I loved this book. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. There are so many wonderful layers to this book, and it was a complete joy to read. I’ve long been a fan of Peter Beagle, but this book has cemented him as one of my favorite authors.