cover image The Whispering Fog

The Whispering Fog

Landra Jennings. Clarion, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-3586-7455-9

In an atmospheric mystery incorporating mystical elements, a take on “Snow-White and Rose-Red” by the Brothers Grimm, debut author Jennings tells the tale of middle schooler siblings Neve and Rose, who move to Etters, S.C., with their mother following their parents’ separation. After being as “close as the sisters in the fairy tale,” the girls—only 11 months apart—begin forming their own identities in their new town; Neve, in particular, starts stepping out of her older sister’s shadow, “being assertive and making decisions.” But while Etters provides the sisters with opportunities to grow, it’s also home to haunting secrets. They soon learn about local girls’ unexplained disappearances, which some townsfolk have inexplicably forgotten, and frightening rumors about the swamp not too far from their house. When a mysterious fog rolls in and swallows Rose up, Neve—joined by an ethereal boy in a red shirt, a hound, and a worn book of fairy tales—searches for her missing sister. Though the overarching mystery’s plotting feels disjointed, Neve’s growth from reserved introvert to take-charge heroine capably propels the narrative toward a climactic resolution. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Sept.) [/em]