Monday, 25 July 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Sarah Baker - Through the Mirror Door - Book Review


Since the accident, Angela has been alone. When she is invited on holiday with her cousins, it is her chance to be part of a family again if she promises to behave herself. But secrets lie in the walls of the crumbling French holiday home and the forbidden rooms draw Angela in. Soon night-time footsteps, flickering candlelight and shadows in windows lead her to a boy who needs her help. To save him Angela must discover the truth about what happened in the house all those years ago . . . and face the terrible secret of her own past.

Sarah Baker has worked extensively in film, as a story editor, with roles at Aardman Features. She has now turned her creative hand from fashion blogging to the catwalk of writing books for children. Through the Mirror Door is a very good middle grade read that is incredibly immersive and well accomplished for a debut book. It will certainly attract readers of all ages, in my opinion. The eye catching cover is designed by Will Steele and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle; it's very in-keeping with the story as it pulls out the mystery and leaves you wanting to find out more inside the cover. 


You get a really good feel about the plot from the very first page. The plight of the main central character is Angela. She is perhaps not the most well formed character and might need just a little more work around her to fully develop her personality. She is a troubled twelve-year old suffering from the death of her family when she suddenly finds herself embroiled into a mystery story that sucks her into the crevices of the French manor house, Maison de Noyer. 


EVERY HOUSE HOLDS A SECRET. 

As you arrive at the foreboding tall dark house, it looms over you in a crumbling state of dilapidated character and rural charm. Three floors, twenty-four shuttered windows, all in total darkness lead you into a world that will intrigue and spook you to the very core as you cross over the threshold. The question is: do you dare? 

Every door that you open, the more secrets you will find as you follow Angela on a twisty and turning adventure that will have you rooting for her. The climatic adventure turns into a pulse gripping race against time to save Julien, a boy, from 1898 France. You will be transported back in time to a time slip period adventure that vibrates into a tale of deceit and survival. It will work up the imagination and lead you down the path of a gripping fantasy novel. It will certainly flex the brain and entertain the sole as you follow the night-time footsteps, the flickering candlelight and a whole host of ghostly visitations. 


This book is essentially a huge atmospheric ghost story, which is layered full of mystery and dark intentions that I really did connect with. The narrative is one of my personal favourites.  You will soon be sucked into a cavernous story; a haunting and enchanted world that has a timeless classic feel. It is historically rooted which leads to pure escapism, but also has a dollop of romance and a big splash of friendship in a tale of hope and fear. 


This is a brilliant debut book and a highly recommended read. It is out now in all good book shops - published by Catnip Publishing.
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