The Bewitching of Alison Allbright

The Bewitching of Alison Allbright

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by Alan Davidson

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This modern-day fable tells the story of Alison, a girl who has always dreamed of having a fairy godmother to whisk her out of her drab life into a world of elegance and wealth. Alison's wish comes true when she meets Mrs. Considine, a rich and sophisticated older woman who is eager to be her friend. Soon Alison is spending every weekend at Mrs. Considine's luxurious home. There Alison sails, rides and wears clothes that belonged to Mrs. Considine's dead daughter Camilla. Because she looks just like Camilla it is easy for Alison to imagine that she really is Mrs. Considine's daughter, a game that Mrs. Considine also plays. So enchanted is Alison with her new life that she is more than willing to allow Mrs. Considine to obliterate her old self and mold her into the ``real'' Camilla. At first, Alison and Mrs. Considine seem irritatingly one-dimensional; but as the story progresses, readers will realize that more fully fleshed-out characters would be out of place in this starkly surreal world. The strange story of Alison's transformation will linger long in the reader's mind. Ages 10-14. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-- This absorbing British import is not a story of the supernatural as the title and cover art imply, but rather a mystery with a serious message. Alison Allbright, dull, drab, unhappy, and unpopular, is the daughter of poor, working-class parents. In her daydreams she is beautiful, rich, and blessed with perfect parents. Through a series of odd coincidences, her life changes. Wealthy Mrs. Considine takes Alison under her wing and introduces her to the good life: servants, lovely clothes, opulent surroundings. Strangely, Alison could be a double for Mrs. Considine's absent daughter, Camilla. On a trip to Italy, Alison complies with her patron's wishes and pretends to be Ca, and she slowly begins to realize that the woman actually expects her to become Ca, and to give up her real identity and family. Too late, she realizes the price of her much-desired new life; she is isolated completely from the outside world and her much-wished-for new home has become a prison. Suspense builds as Alison attempts to escape from Mrs. Considine's grip, but the resolution is a bit too pat. In a middle-of-the-night chase across a treacherous lake, Mrs. Considine drowns and Alison is rescued by one of the few friends she ever had. Alison is the only fully realized character. It is easy to understand why no one likes this self-centered, self-pitying young woman, but equally easy to see why she acts as she does. Mr. and Mrs. Allbright remain shadowy, undeveloped figures, while Mrs. Considine never emerges from her role as the stereotypical wealthy matron. Readers will not be fully prepared for the revelation that her desire to mold and control her ``daughter'' has become madness. Overall, though, this suspenseful story should leave readers thinking about what is most to be valued in their own lives. --Bruce Ann Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, N.C.

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.24(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Bewitching of Alison Allbright 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
The Bewitching of Alison Allbright is a re-release of Alan Davidson’s 1987 novel of the same title. Alison is quiet an shy and not living in her imagine ideal circumstances when she has the chance to live in the place of wealthy Mrs. Considine’s deceased daughter. Alison serves a purpose to middle grade readers that the grass isn’t always greener and sometimes you have to make the best of the life you’re living and to recognize its happiness. I think most people of a certain age can identify with Alison in wishing as children we could change something about our circumstances. The character of Alison as Davidson writes her is real and relatable. Allison is in no way the perfect child. She’s shallow and self-centered and believes life owes her a certain standard. While the character was annoying to this adult at first, she certainly grew on me. The characters of Alison’s home life are a little thinly written but with the true focus Alison and Mrs. Considine, young readers will not miss the development. The Bewitching of Alison Allbright is a good introduction to speculative fiction for children 9-12.
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
Excellent story!! Alison Allbright is a high school nobody. She is prickly and selfish, so she has no friends. She resents being poor, living in a shabby home and not having the money to do the fun things her well-off classmates do. There isn’t even money for class trips, so Alison has to stay behind. All of her daydreams revolve around material things and the wish for more. And then Mrs Considine steps into her life. Mrs Considine is an upstanding citizen with tons of funds and a daughter who looks exactly like Alison. When her chauffeur runs over Alison’s beat up bicycle and they stop at Alison’s home to replace it with a bright shiny new one, Alison’s life takes a momentous turn. But is it a turn for the better? Or worse? Being inside Alison’s head and listening to her justify what she allowed to happen was an interesting experience. I thought she was a self-centered little idiot, but I can understand why she was constantly dreaming of bigger and better things instead of being happy with what she had. The fact that she let things get as far as they did made me want to shake her repeatedly, but at least Alison wakes up and finally smells the decaying roses. My favorite part of the book is when Alison gets a rude awakening by a friend. There’s nothing quite like cold hard truths told by someone you respect to slap some sense into a person. Well-written, interesting and a great plot. I enjoyed this book very much. *Many thanks to Straw Hat Publishers for providing me with a review copy. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.