Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: The Secret of Goldenrod by Jane O'Reilly

The Secret of Goldenrod

When Trina and her father move into an abandoned wreck of a mansion called Goldenrod, Trina thinks her life is finally coming together. She can put down roots at last. Maybe she'll even have a best friend! But the kids at school make fun of her, and it seems like Goldenrod itself is haunted.

Then Trina finds Augustine, a tiny porcelain doll left behind when the house was boarded up a century ago. Augustine isn't like other dolls: she talks and talks and talks. Augustine helps Trina realize that Goldenrod is trying to tell her an important secret . . . one that may just change her life.

I started the book out insanely jealous of Trina and her father. Just LOOK at that house! I love fixing things up, and you are looking at my dream home right there.

While Trina's father is of the same mind, Trina herself is not. That isn't too surprising, and fits well into this particular theme. There is a bit of thinking you want one thing, and finding another thing is better. Forming an impression of someone that changes as you get to know them. Stretching out of your comfort zone, remembering to think of others, deciding what kind of person you want to be seen as...all the traditional tropes of the coming of age novel, with the addition of a little mystery and fantasy.

The familiar topics make the plot 'twists' somewhat easy to predict, and a healthy suspension of disbelief is required - especially at the end. Upper elementary, wistful girls will devour it, however, and will want to see more by this author. As O'Reilly's debut novel, there is definite promise. 

Passage of note: 

"There was nothing wrong in letting Augustine believe whatever she needed to believe to make her happy."

Ironic because Trina later becomes angry with her father for doing the same thing, and a great question for discussion!

No comments:

Post a Comment