cover image The Coming Storm

The Coming Storm

Regina M. Hansen. Atheneum, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8244-9

In this leisurely paced narrative, Beatrice “Beet” MacNeill, 15, slowly begins to suspect that her Prince Edward Island community is being haunted by a sinister supernatural force after her cousin Gerry’s ghost appears to her upon his tragic drowning in 1949. A year later, following Gerry’s mother’s death, her elegant niece Marina Shaw comes to town, promptly taking a particular interest in Gerry’s son, Baby Joseph. Suspecting there’s more to Marina than meets the eye, Beet and her best friend Jeannine investigate, uncovering a strange pattern of drownings stretching back over a century amid sightings of a legendary kelpie. Beet’s first-person perspective proves immersive (“Lorsh, did Gerry turn red, seeing her! Made me laugh to kill myself”). Drawing upon maritime myth and Scottish folklore to weave an eerie story filled with magic and music, Hansen intertwines Beet’s narrative with historical flashbacks as the mystery unfolds. There’s a gentle subtlety to this atmospheric debut, with the ocean becoming a character of its own alongside presumed-white characters. Ages 12–up. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger. (June)