cover image Acquainted with the Night

Acquainted with the Night

Sollace Hotze. Clarion Books, $15 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-395-61576-8

Despite its 1970s setting, this tale of ghostly encounters and forbidden passions has the flavor of a Gothic romance. Seventeen-year-old Molly, still distraught over her parents' divorce eight years earlier, falls in love with her cousin Caleb, who has returned to Plum Cove Island after being wounded in Vietnam. Having not yet come to terms with his father's suicide and best friend's gory death, vulnerable Caleb returns Molly's adoration. Meanwhile, the pair is involved in solving the mystery of Evaline Bloodworth, an 1800s woman whose ghost has appeared on the island. As Molly fits together pieces of Evaline's life, she realizes how this woman's tormenting desires parallel her own. The novel's cleverly wrought framework adds an extra dimension of suspense to a bizarre, historically accurate tale of incest. Although Hotze's narrative at times becomes over-emotional, events remain compelling enough to keep pages turning. Readers are sure to become engrossed in this story of long-kept secrets by the author of the acclaimed A Circle Unbroken . Ages 12-up. (Oct.)