Book Review: Brightwood

5 Jul

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Daisy only knows the house and gardens of Brightwood Hall, her mother suffered from a horrible tragedy and only goes out when it’s completely necessary and never allows Daisy to leave. With a stockpile of food and her mother’s Day Boxes (a box for each day filled with things that her mother believes she can keep forever), Daisy awakens one morning and realizes her mother has returned from the store.  And she doesn’t return that evening or the next day, in fact the only person to appear is a distant cousin who breaks the lock on the garden’s gate and enters the property. Daisy must decide whether this man is someone who can help her or hurt her as she tries to figure out what happened to her mom.

The back cover describes this as the perfect book for fans of Coraline and Doll Bones, although I would also compare this with Serafina and the Black Cloak for the estate itself feels almost like a character in the story with a touch of magic where you don’t expect it. I really enjoyed this thrilled and would definitely pass it on to any kid looking for a scary book in those middle grades. Daisy has a great voice that sometimes skews on the older side (But having only ever interacted with her mother, what do you expect?), but is also at times vulnerable and afraid. The other characters in the house include a talking rat named Tar, a topiary horse, a painting of a young boy from the 1500s and the ghost of a girl about Daisy’s age. The cast of characters is unique, but also what makes the story really work.  This book is being published at the tail end of September – just int time for the perfect October/Halloween booktalk!

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): When Daisy’s mother disappears, Daisy must outwit a distant cousin to save her home and find her mom. The only problem-She’s never left home

Title: Brightwood
Author: Tania Unsworth
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 27, 2017
Page Number: 260 pgs.

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