Monday, January 3, 2011

A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Schlitz

 This novel was recommended by a former student, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Maud is an eleven-year-old child and has little hope of being adopted due to her age and orneriness. However, she is unexpectedly taken in by three sisters, but they tell Maud that she must remain a secret. She must not go outside, she must go upstairs when people stop by, and she must help with the family business. Maud later discovers that the "family business" is conning grieving women by holding seances to speak to their deceased loved ones. Maud's conflict increases when she sneaks out of the house and meets the richest target of one of their scams. She also starts having dreams about this woman's dead daughter.

Although the plot deals with the scheming of the three sisters, the real story is about Maud's internal conflict to find a loving home. She does whatever she can to get affection from Hyacinth, the sister who actually adopted her, but any signs of love are dismissed by Hyacinth. This book probably won't appeal to some readers; it doesn't have a great deal of action. However, it was very well written and will appeal to anyone believing in the power of love.

Lexile level from 690

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