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In early-nineteenth century Scotland, sixteen-year-old Josie, an orphan, is sent to live with an aunt and uncle on the rocky, stormy northwest coast. Everything and everyone in her new surroundings, including her relatives, is sinister, threatening, and mysterious. She's told that Eli, the young man she's attracted to, is forbidden to her, but not why. Spirited, curious, and determined, Josie sets out to learn the village's secrets and discovers evil, fueled by heartless greed, as well as a ghostly presence eager for revenge. An author's note gives the historical inspiration for this story.
About the Author
Eve Bunting has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.
"Bunting has written a taut page-turner full of an eeriness that would be at home in any piece of gothic literature. The result is an atmospheric, otherworldly mystery best absorbed in one sitting."
"Bunting skillfully drops clues about the cruel truth Josie will discover and cleverly incorporates supernatural elements into the historical aspects of the story about the intentional “wrecking” of ships for their bounty."
"The gloomy mood, established from the very moment Josie arrives at the estate, is sustained throughout, infusing each scene with a creeping dread...An excellent introduction to the gothic genre and a satisfyingly eerie read."
—School Library Journal