cover image The Ghosts of Mercy Manor

The Ghosts of Mercy Manor

Betty Ren Wright. Scholastic, $13.95 (172pp) ISBN 978-0-590-43601-4

When her great aunt dies, orphaned Gwen goes to live with the Mercy family on their remote but beautiful farm. Starting from the moment she arrives at her new home, Gwen has frequent encounters with the ghost of a girl her own age. However, any mention of these spectral appearances upsets Mrs. Mercy and angers stern Mr. Mercy to the point where he threatens to send the orphan packing. With the help of the Mercys' son, Gwen uncovers a long-hidden tragedy, lays to rest the wandering spirit of Mercy Manor and makes peace with her foster family. Though this novel lacks the hair-raising psychological suspense of Lois Duncan's ( Stranger with My Face ) thrillers, readers will find ample rewards in the resilient heroine's efforts to come to terms with her new life. A cozy setting and gently spooky goings-on enhance a pleasant if not particularly distinctive read. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)