Sunday, December 2, 2012

Long Lankin Book Review

Title: Long Lankin
Author: Lindsey Barraclough
Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: July 10, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0763658083

464 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

I started reading this book just before Halloween, right when I was in the mood for a good scare.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough tells the story of Cora and her sister Mimi. They are sent to live with their crochety Auntie Ida in an isolated English village. There are secrets afoot and a supernatural force that the children unwittingly unleash.

The writing is spookily atmospheric about Auntie Ida's crumbling house and the dangerous moors that surround it. The author also goes to great lengths to create the post-war England setting with details about things from cricket games to laundry soap. She alternative chapters between Cora and the village boy she meets, Roger, and sometimes even Ida gets a chapter of her own. Each chapter brings some new insight or twist and it's brilliantly done.

My one quibble with the story is that the author does all this rather leisurely. It takes quite awhile before the first big scare. And the scares are few and far between, until the ending. The ending is a powerhouse of supernatural action, but it takes about 400 pages to get there.

Considering that the book reads more middle grade than YA, the book may be too intimidating for some and less patient readers may put it down before they get to the good bits. So recommend Long Lankin to the voracious readers who will stick with it until the end.

Long Lankin book trailer:


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