Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand

by Serena Mackesy
     
 

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Praise for Serena Mackesy:

“A modern day Rebecca, mixed with a suspense-filled Gothic novel and served up with generous helpings of wit—a real treat.”—Associated Press

When Bridget gets a job caretaking a country manor house, she thinks it will mean a fresh start for herself and her daughter. With their new names, she has hope

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Overview

Praise for Serena Mackesy:

“A modern day Rebecca, mixed with a suspense-filled Gothic novel and served up with generous helpings of wit—a real treat.”—Associated Press

When Bridget gets a job caretaking a country manor house, she thinks it will mean a fresh start for herself and her daughter. With their new names, she has hope for the future. But Rospetroc House has its own dark secrets.

Serena Mackesy is a journalist and novelist. Her first novel, The Temp, soared into the Sunday Times Top 10 and was followed by Virtue and Simply Heaven. She lives in London.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

British author Mackesy (The Temp) deftly juggles two realities-the natural and the supernatural-in her compelling debut mystery. Desperate for income and a place to hide from an abusive ex-husband, Londoner Bridget Sweeny takes a job as the caretaker of a Cornish manor that's now a hotel, Rospetroc. Accompanying Bridget is her young daughter, Yasmin, who soon becomes the confidante of a ghost-Lily, a nine-year-old refugee from Hitler's blitzkrieg who vanished while boarding with Rospetroc's long-dead mistress during WWII. Lily, who does palpable damage to the premises, becomes a second source of terror for Bridget. Mackesy's stream-of-consciousness narrative successfully delineates these characters' inner lives, though at first most function as stock figures-the mother frightened for her child, the brutal husband, the plucky best friend. But Mackesy's prose-spare, taut and robust as haiku-lessens the implausibility of the novel's resolution. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal

Adult/High School

What is the common ground between a nine-year-old Word War II evacuee from London and a present-day abused woman and child running from a violent past? An old family estate in Cornwall provides the common ground in this mystery in which past and present collide. Lily is sent to Rospectroc during the war, where she is supposed to be cared for, but instead finds abuse and mistreatment at the hands of the dysfunctional Blakemore family. When things go horribly wrong for her, she vows revenge on both the family and the house. Years later, Bridget and her daughter, Yasmin, are seeking a safe place away from a violent ex-husband and father and they end up at Rospectroc as caretakers. There is a reason none of the locals will go near the house and, as questionable activities occur, Bridget begins to wonder whether she has done the right thing by going there. The abuse suffered by Lily and by Bridgett and Yasmin is slowly revealed as the book progresses, and readers will be determined to find out if Lily gets her revenge, if the ex-husband finds his wife and daughter, and if the sins of the past can be forgiven. The British phrases may slow some readers down, but overall this is a compelling mystery that satisfies in the end.-Janet Melikian, Central High School East, Fresno, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Who would you rather have as a playmate: a nine-year-old ghost or a father who broke your arm?Yasmin's mum Bridget is desperate to get them out of London and away from her violently abusive husband Kieran. So she's glad to be offered the housekeeping post at Rospetroc House on Cornwall's Bodmin Moor. But they've barely settled in when strange things begin happening. Figurines turn around. Footsteps clatter in the absence of living feet. The extra bed in Yasmin's room looks as though someone has slept in it. And Yasmin shares conversations with young Lily, who isn't really there. Or is she? Just as scary, Kieran is making serious progress in tracking them down. As the house pranks escalate and Kieran draws closer, Bridget wonders whether she and Yasmin will ever be safe. It's the same thought that has worried their nine-year-old familiar, an unloved evacuee sent to wait out the Great War in the safety of the country, only to find there Hughie, who tormented her, and his besotted mum, who locked her in closets for deeds the lad had committed. Snow isolates the house. Yasmin and Bridget barricade themselves in. Past and present menace looms. And vengeance is left to the sorely tried Lily. Lock the doors, draw the curtains and hunker down. This is one scary read from an author (Simply Heaven, 2006, etc.) perfectly capable of raising goose bumps even in summer months.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569475331
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Serena Mackesy is a journalist and novelist. Her journalism includes features and travel writing, mostly for The Times (UK). Her column in the Independent (UK) became her first novel The Temp, which soared into the Sunday Times Top 10 and was followed by the critically acclaimed Virtue and Simply Heaven. Although born in Oxfordshire, she now lives in London.

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