Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Molly and Kip are orphans after escaping the potato famine in Ireland.  They have finally managed to find work with the Windsor family at their home on an island where locals refuse to go.  The family is pale and sickly looking and the entire house is overshadowed by a huge, dark tree.  Within days of arriving it is obvious to Molly that something strange is at work in the house.  There is one locked room but whenever a family member comes out of the room he or she seems to have valuable things.  And before long Molly becomes aware of a shadowy man walking through the house each night who seems to be sucking the life out of the family.  Just as she is determined to leave the island with her brother Molly gets into the secret room herself and is given the one thing she wants the most...

A deliciously creepy story that sucks you in and gets you invested with all the characters.  The Night Gardener is truly terrible which I appreciate in a kids' book rather than pulling punches.  And the story keeps moving along at a great pace that doesn't sacrifice quality writing.