Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: ARC from publisher for review
When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, "The Art of Racing in the Rain".
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.
But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.My thoughts:
I admit it took me a few pages to really get into this story but when the ghosts started interacting with Trevor and he fully became engaged within his family's own mystery I was caught. Trevor is an ususal kid who is smart and brave. He is only 14 but reads much older in some aspects of the book. It makes sense since he is a near genius and has had to parent his dad through much of the book. He also finds his vulnerability and you see him as only a kid at times. This created a character I wanted to know.
The ghosts in this story aren't too scary and are either helpful or mysterious. All help him to unravel history that had been going on for a few generations. The characters are lovable except for the aunt, but then again she was very manipulative. I don't want to say too much since following Trevor while solved the mystery was the most interesting part of the book. I also loved the character of the grandfather who is a mystery to himself.
I give this book 4 stars. It had a rocky start for me but finished strong. It is a book that isn't so young that adults wouldn't like it. I recommend this to those that love a good family mystery.