Amber House [NOOK Book]

Overview

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search ...
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Amber House

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Overview

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The ghosts of the past haunt the present in this complex tale of family secrets and lingering loss, first in a planned trilogy from Moore and her daughters. After the death of 15-year-old Sarah’s grandmother, Sarah and her family move into Amber House, a sprawling, centuries-old Maryland mansion that has been in the family ever since it was built. There, Sarah is beset by visions of the past, quickly learning that the house is almost alive, filled with ghosts and memories. As she and her new friend Jackson, the grandson of a longtime family friend, search for a treasure supposedly hidden in Amber House, they’re drawn into a mystery that spans generations, and only Sarah has the ability to fix things before tragedy strikes again. Lush descriptions and an intricate plot drive this intense tale, which straddles the lines between magical realism, fantasy, ghost stories, and horror, with a touch of romance and classic glamour. The result is something rich, strange, and utterly fascinating. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

  "The ghosts of the past haunt the present in this complex tale of family secrets and lingering loss, first in a planned trilogy from Moore and her daughters. After the death of 15-year-old Sarah’s grandmother, Sarah and her family move into Amber House, a sprawling, centuries-old Maryland mansion that has been in the family ever since it was built. There, Sarah is beset by visions of the past, quickly learning that the house is almost alive, filled with ghosts and memories. As she and her new friend Jackson, the grandson of a longtime family friend, search for a treasure supposedly hidden in Amber House, they’re drawn into a mystery that spans generations, and only Sarah has the ability to fix things before tragedy strikes again. Lush descriptions and an intricate plot drive this intense tale, which straddles the lines between magical realism, fantasy, ghost stories, and horror, with a touch of romance and classic glamour. The result is something rich, strange, and utterly fascinating." - Publishers Weekly starred review

  

"After the death of their estranged grandmother, sixteen-year-old Sarah Parsons and her little brother accompany their mother on her return to the old family estate, Amber House, to settle finances and prepare to sell the house. Already a bit of an ice queen, Sarah’s mother is particularly cold and distant at her childhood home, and Sarah can understand why: although the spectacular mansion is both enormous and filled with luxury, the shadowy halls and dusty rooms are unsettling, to say nothing of the strange noises heard at night and the occasional echoes of childish laughter through the home. Things get even creepier as Sarah investigates the history of house with the help of two neighbors—both, of course, handsome and mysterious guys—and discovers that the sins of her ancestors may have cursed the house, a suspicion she thinks is confirmed when her brother inexplicably falls into a coma. Swift plotting combines with vivid, cinematic prose to make this gothic tale compulsively readable, and an unexpected ending elevates the story beyond the genre. Fans of ghost stories will appreciate the classic elements here, from the disembodied voices to the ancestral home with a sordid past, but they will also be pleasantly surprised by the time-bending element that comes into play in the latter half. Relationships are well developed, particularly Sarah’s mix of animosity toward and sympathy for her mother, while the romance between Sarah and a neighbor boy begins simply enough but is then organically revealed to be a fateful, life-changing connection that will leave readers swooning. Complex, elegant, and haunting, this is a book that deserves to be read in one sitting." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred review

VOYA - Kaitlin Connors
When her grandmother dies, Sarah Parsons and her family travel to Maryland to attend the funeral at the very large, and supposedly haunted, Amber House. As Sarah delves into the house’s rich history, she discovers that she has the ability to experience echoes, or visions of the past, by touching objects within the house. Some of these images are pleasant, while others hold more unnerving revelations. With a full cast of fascinating characters and mysterious twists and turns, Amber House is a scintillating tale. According to the author’s note, Moore wrote the first manuscript in the late 1980s. Her daughters, Tucker and Larkin Reed, stumbled upon the story and helped their mother create a rich and lively story. It is a family affair well beyond the confines of the pages. The book is accompanied by a website, www.amberhousetrilogy.com, complete with Sarah’s family tree and historical context for the house. While the novel is detailed and packed with information, it is never confusing nor does it drag. The story flows, building suspense and enticing the reader from page one. Additionally, the authors explore a variety of subjects with grace and tact, from Sarah’s little brother’s autism to ownership in her family’s history. The mother-daughters team even explores the relationship between Sarah and her distant and somewhat cold mother. This is a novel, with two more forthcoming, that has the potential to appeal to a very large audience. Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
A deliciously creepy beginning to a projected trilogy. As 16-year-old Seattle native Sarah Parsons arrives at her maternal grandmother's funeral, she learns that her family's historic Maryland home, Amber House, has more than its fair share of secrets, having housed her lineage for more than 10 generations. Sarah and her 5-year-old brother, Sammy, feel an immediate connection with the house, and she discovers that she can feel echoes of the past, seeing visions of her ancestors—both good and bad. Predictably, there is the requisite love triangle between Sarah and Richard, a dashing senator's son, and Jackson, the quiet, down-to-earth son of her late grandmother's nurse, and it is quickly obvious who is the right admirer for her. What is truly novel is the spin that the Reed sisters and Moore, their mother, give the direction of the romance, setting this apart from many of the cardboard triangles found in the genre. Those who think that this is a straightforward ghost story will be sorely mistaken: This is a complex, layered tale that bends time and imagination, demanding to be read with all the lights on. Move over Bella Swan: Sarah is a strong, admirable character who'd rather speak her mind than sulk and sigh over some hot guy. Richly woven, with depth and swift plotting that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels. (Horror/romance. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545469739
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 122,635
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Kelly Moore wrote the beginnings of THE AMBER HOUSE years ago, but it wasn't until her daughters Tucker and Larkin Reed found the manuscript and convinced her to work on it with them that it became a full-fledged book. Tucker attends the University of Souther California, while Larkin is a freshman at St. John's College. All three reside in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Kelly Moore wrote the beginnings of THE AMBER HOUSE years ago, but it wasn't until her daughters Tucker and Larkin Reed found the manuscript and convinced her to work on it with them that it became a full-fledged book. Tucker attends the University of Souther California, while Larkin is a freshman at St. John's College. All three reside in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Kelly Moore wrote the beginnings of THE AMBER HOUSE years ago, but it wasn't until her daughters Tucker and Larkin Reed found the manuscript and convinced her to work on it with them that it became a full-fledged book. Tucker attends the University of Souther California, while Larkin is a freshman at St. John's College. All three reside in Jacksonville, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 30, 2012

    A Highly Riveting Tale!

    Shrouded in mystery and full of eerie adventures, Amber House captivated me from start to finish. I loved following Sarah and Richard through the house, exploring the many passageways in search of treasure. Learning about the deep, sorrowful past of the house through Sarah’s visions and her ancestor’s journal was just as riveting as the search for treasure and, truth be told, I adored everything about this novel.

    Sarah’s autistic brother, Sam, is my absolute favorite. His sheer energy and penchant for exploration, as well as his love for his sister, quickly endeared him to my heart. Though he’s just a small child, he added a lot of depth and character to the novel, and I am so glad the authors decided to create him the way they did. It’s hard to explain, but I think you’ll understand when you read the novel; he’s absolutely amazing.

    Richard was a dreamy addition to the novel, and I love that, like Sarah, he has special connections to the house, and more importantly, to Sarah. While I picked up that he is tied to the house very early on in the novel, I couldn’t put my finger on his ability until he blatantly stated what it was, and at that point, I nearly died, especially with the revelation it brought. This story is spun very well, and I honestly cannot wait for the sequel (but readers, rest assured, there is no cliffhanger in this novel and it could very well stand alone, but thank God it’s not going to!).

    Sarah’s mother, ever the rich snob, drove me absolutely batty, but without her antics and the crossing between rich and poor, I think the story would have fallen flat. The addition of high society characters and a love triangle or sorts made the story all that more interesting and, of course, the fact that the novel takes place in Maryland is another plus. Having visited many of the places described in the novel, I felt an even deeper connection with the characters and plot—I just love when that happens!

    I did not like the “Good Mother” spider, though. Not one bit… but I am also under the impression that this spider is a figment of the authors’ imaginations. At least, I hope she is, because if not, I’m in a world of trouble. I did Google the spider to see if she existed after I was creeped out of my mind while reading, but to no avail. I tweeted one of the authors about the spider as well and am wating to hear back... and I'm just dying to know! Especially when Richard says that these spiders are native to the area (meaning MD) and aren’t on the West coast, where Sarah is from… I mean, what a way to give a girl a heart attack as she’s reading the novel in the dead of night… suddenly I felt like a billion little spiders were in my bed with me… (Update--I heard back from the authors and the Good Mother does NOT exist... thank God).

    But moving on from all that creepy spider talk, I want to live in Amber House. I don’t necessarily want the abilities that Sarah has, though it is pretty cool, but I’d love to even just visit the place… it sounds so magnificent, with its sheer size, not to mention the maze it totes, or the stables and dock… I really want to live here. Too bad it doesn’t exist (right?).

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    Amazing

    This was amazing i absoloutly could not put the book down..... completely recomeded

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Amber House is a unique and captivating debut from the mother/da

    Amber House is a unique and captivating debut from the mother/daughter trio, Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed. According to their website, Moore was inspired by her own family history and began to write. Once her daughters joined in the venture, Amber House became an actual novel. Considering the story of the house and the women in it, I think it is perfect that this book was written by two generations of women. This is a beautiful story, and I cannot wait for the sequel (I was so happy when I learned this is part of a trilogy).

    Every character in Amber House is complex and fully developed. I enjoyed learning about all of them, even if I didn't particularly like everyone *coughRichardcough*. I simply adored Sammy, and I love how the authors created an intelligent autistic character who is easy to relate to. With the history of the family's insanity and how people judge Sammy, these writers are opening up a dialogue about autism, and that is very important. I applaud them for taking a stand for autistic people. 

    Sarah is also a fantastic character. She's not perfect. She's bratty and silly at times, just like any teenage girl, but overall, she is mature, strong, and likable. I enjoyed reading things from her point of view, and even though I wanted to smack her once or twice, she isn't an annoying character. 

    Her mother, on the other hand, is a piece of work. However, the more I got to know about Anne, the more I understood why she acts the way she does. It doesn't excuse her behaviors, but it does explain them. I would have liked to have seen more of Sarah's dad. 

    The two love interests are very different, but neither is broody or obnoxious. I didn't like Richard because he just seemed a bit slimy to me. Being a politician's son, he can't be the most honest kid around. Jackson is a dreamboat, though. I really love his character. He's extremely strong and caring, but not whiny and fluffy. I hate fluffy guys. You guys know what I mean by fluffy, right? Edward Cullen like? Crying at the drop of a hat? Yea, I don't like that. 

    The plot itself is insane! I don't know how the authors kept track of what was going on. This book is fast paced and complicated. However, I was able to follow the events just fine. There is just a lot going on. The writers do an excellent job of explaining the time travely type stuff, though, and I actually understood it. Normally with time travel books, I just ignore the explanations and go with it because physics is not my forte. This story line doesn't have much action, but it has tons of suspense. I couldn't put this book down!I had to figure out the mysteries of Amber House and its inhabitants (both past and present). I was hooked from the beginning, and the ending simply left me wanting more. I cannot wait for the sequel. Yes, I know I already said that, but it needed to be said again. 

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a different type of paranormal story. Amber House focuses on a lot of different ideas, but they all come together nicely. I enjoyed the contemporary problems being brought into a paranormal book. The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. You have to give it a try!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Best Book

    I wasnt to sure about this book at first.But then it got so good I could't stop reading it.The characters are very unique and original in my opinion.The plot was easy to follow and original.I strongly recommend this wonderful book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    A

    I love this book! Its honestly one of the best books i have ever read! Tons of suspence and a beautiful plot i cant wait for the second book coming out january 7th
    I loved the charactors i cant even pick a favorite maybe sarah or richard or jackson or sammy, so hard to decide!
    The book was paced perfectly and beautiful i was on the edge of my seat the entire time
    SHEER PERFECTION
    A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    This was an amazing, chilling, unforgettable read. I absolutely

    This was an amazing, chilling, unforgettable read. I absolutely LOVED it! From start to finish, it was impossible to put down. I even had a hard time reading this at night during some parts of the book. I usually don't get creeped out that easy when reading, but I will admit, this had me peering around my room at night catching glimpses of things that weren't there!

    To me, this book was a little bit of The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton (we read this in 6th or 7th grade) and The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.

    Sarah Parsons grandmother passes away so her and her family travel from Seattle to Maryland to settle her estate. Sarah soon finds out that she has a gift, a gift that she's not sure that she really wants at first. When she touched family heirlooms, she can see glimpses of the past. With the help of new friend Jackson, she learns the gift isn't all that bad. She finds out things about her family that her mother and grandmother never told her about. Some things she wished she never knew.

    Soon Sarah finds herself in a race against time to save her little brother, Sammy, who is alive, but has lost his soul inside the house, Amber House. Does she save him? Or is she too late?

    **Spoiler**
    There are some shady characters in this story. I never quite trusted Richard, the handsome son of the senator. His family is a mystery and Richard has quite a temper. There wasn't much light shed on his family, just that his mom left and she never quite liked Sarah's mom, but she has always been intrigued with the Amber House. Later she wants to buy the house with all the furnishing and heirlooms. You also see in one os Sarah's echos her great grandmother, Fiona, might have had an affair with a gentleman that looks a lot like Richard. So I think something is going on there.

    Sarah's mom, Annie, has a secret sister that she never talked about. So naturally, when Sarah finds out about her through yet another echo, she's curious and quite upset she never knew about her.

    Hopefully in the second book we will find out more about the past and what happened with these other characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    Darby

    Disgusting at some parts but over all good book.e

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Amazing

    I loved this book i read it 2 years ago and couldnt put it down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    A great book

    An absoulute must have! Can't wait fir the sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Thrilling, chilling, and haunting!

    Upon starting this book I was chilled by some of the paranormal actvities. I decided to stick with it and was thrilled to discover a world unlocked. This book made me laugh, gave me shivers and goose bumps, and at the end brought many tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! I finished this book in the matter of a few hours and simple could not put it down but not a good book to read for those prone to nigjtmares for this is a haunting story!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    This book review can be see by non haters

    This book is truly amazing and when Richard and Sarah kissed,omg. And when Sarah learned that the treasure didn't exist. Then she fell for Richard.......I love this book soooooooo much read it please it's so good that my grandma is even reading it thanks for reading my rate and review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Loved it!

    This book was great an kept me reading till the end! Although, the end was a bit confusing...did everything just suddenly not happen? It was as if they went back in time... oh well. This just makes me want to read the next book in the trilogy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    AmberHouseLover

    I love this book! A must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    I love it

    This is an awesome book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    Umm?

    The beginning of the story was like snoozefest so i skipped to the middle/almosr end. Love,love, LOVE Richard and Jackson- totes dreamy. Sarah's mom made me go " are u kidding me like wtp( what the popsicles?)" Spoiler:Richard and Sarah fall for each other but Richard thought that Sarah liked Jackson and when Sarah got Sammy back, she also got her aunt Maggie back and somehow messed up the space/time continueum or something( did i spell that right?) Anyways they all go back to the day that Sarah's gram dies but oddly enough dont remember a thing. Weird. Btw what did Richard so bluntly state about his ties to the house? This should be a movie. Get really hot blokes to play Richard and Jackson and maybe Bridget Mendler to play Sarah. And note to everyone who hates Richard: you are a bunch of tossers. :D

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    **4.5 Stars** MY OVERVIEW: I always get nervous when I see book

    **4.5 Stars**

    MY OVERVIEW: I always get nervous when I see books written by multiple people. Generally the book doesn’t have a continuous flow to it. However, Amber House did! I really liked the story and can’t wait for more.

    PROS: Hmm… favorite character… can I pick three? : ) Sarah, Jackson, and Sam were all awesome. Sam is soooo cute! I love how the authors gave him that sweet innocence. Sarah was written beautifully. I loved how the authors made her struggle with her powers. Does she accept them? Does she try to ignore them?

    CONS: I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I almost wish it hadn’t gone the way it did, but I understand why and how it is part of Amber House’s “magic”. Ugh. Sarah’s mom is awful, but I guess that should kind of go under a pro, since she was written to where you aren’t supposed to like her.

    MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I have to wait until December for the next book?!?!?!? Darn. This is what I get for reading a great book right away. Now I have to wait, patiently I guess, for Neverwas to come out. Please hurry!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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