Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Haunting

The Haunting by Joan Lowery Nixon, 1998. 192 pages. Published by Laurel Leaf. Source: Bought.
Fifteen-year-old Lia comes from a long line of courageous women, dating back to a Civil War survivor who single-handedly saved her Louisiana plantation house, Graymoss, from destruction. But Graymoss is haunted by a terrible evil.
With clues from a diary and Favorite Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Lia, who doesn't feel as if she's inherited any family genes of courage, must figure out what--or whom--the evil wants. When Lia's parents decide to move into Graymoss, Lia isn't sure how to convince them to change their minds. But it's up to her to chase away the horror lurking inside the old house. Can she find the courage to deal with a noisy ghost who wants vengeance?
First Sentence:
My fingers shook as I pushed back the long strands of hair that had fallen over my face.

Surprise, surprise, I actually found a Joan Lowery Nixon book that I have never read. I'm sure that you can guess how excited I was over this find...VERY!

One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Haunting would have to be the slight conflict of interests that went on between Lia and her parents. The reason I liked their conflict was because it was not your typical family dysfunction and that it showed you so clearly the difference in thought between them. Also, while Lia's protest to her parents dream made her come across as shallow and self-centered, it also helped to display how much she will change from the beginning to end of the book. I must admit that in the beginning of the book I did not care too much for her parents. It was solely because it came across at first that they just did not care how their dream was going to make their daughter feel, but in the end things worked out for the best in the perspective.

As for the actual evil and mysterious past of Graymoss, I loved the way the Ms. Nixon tied it into the history of the family. But what really made it interesting was the way that not a single one of her ancestors were brave enough to try and solve the mystery and put an end to the terror that was gripping the house.

I thought Lia was an excellent protagonist for many reasons. I like the fact that she evolved throughout the book and the once timid girl who had trouble speaking up in front of the ladies of her family-who she dubbed the "Women Who Are Exceptionally Brave" - and became a strong willed girl who could take on the dark presence at Graymoss. My last reason for enjoying Lia's storyb as much as I did would have to be how she put down the unwanted advances of the sleezy boy in the book.

As for the Starlings, Lia's mom and dad, I liked them. What I liked about them was the enthusiazim totry and provide a loving family for those who were considered unadoptable. While I did like them-most of the time-what kind of annoyed me was that in the beginning of the book, when they realized that they were finaly going to be able to make their dream a reality, that they kind of neglected to see that what they planning was making their daughter feel like they did not love her.

My absolute favorite thing about The Haunting  would have to be the character development that Lia undergoes throughout the book. I loved the fact that Ms. Cooney was able to believably take her timid lead and turn her into a brave, resourceful young lady who can face a dangerous situation is come out on top.

Since there really was not anything that I found fault worthy in The Haunting, I shall be a little silly and point out one things that made me snicker while reading. Fanny pack, Lia had a fanny pack in the book that she used when she went to explore Graymoss. *hehehe*

Okay, all joking aside, The Haunting is well worth searching for a copy. *hint, hint*

Final Verdict: The Haunting is deliciously creepy, with excellent character development.

The Haunting earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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