The Ghost in Allie’s Pool

Sari Bodi, Author . Brown Barn $8.95 (178p) ISBN 978-0-9768126-6-1

Bodi’s affecting debut novel balances a familiar fictional theme with an inventive historical premise. When Marissa abandons Allie for two new best friends, Allie muses, “They’re beautiful and great lacrosse players. They’re also kind of mean. In our school, you can’t get any cooler than that.” Hurt, Allie throws out her window her half of the best-friends charm she shared with Marissa and it lands in the swimming pool. When she decides to rescue it from the water, she hears a voice imploring her not to jump. She looks up to find Dorothy May, who jumped off the Mayflower to her death because her husband, William Bradford, did not love her. She tells Allie, who is descended from Bradford and his second wife, “I am a friend come to be of assistance to thee.” Through her research for a family-tree project and her conversations with Dorothy (who reappears repeatedly, each time summoned by an image of water), Allie learns a great deal about the harrowing crossing of the Mayflower , about 17th-century life and about the anguish and desperation of Dorothy, who was forced to leave her young son behind in England. Dorothy also provides Allie with friendship that she desperately needs, particularly when she discovers just how mean Marissa’s new friends can be. Allie’s crisp narrative lends credibility to both strains of plot, each of which comes to a satisfying conclusion. An intriguing postscript: Bodi is a descendant of Bradford’s second wife and her first husband. Ages 10-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
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