Portraits of Celina

 

TITLE = PORTRAITS OF CELINA

AUTHOR = SUE WHITING

GENRE = GOTHIC, MYSTERY, FAMILY, ROMANCE, GRIEF

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9 – 11

 

Celina disappeared at the age of 16 when she was walking to catch the bus for school. The house she grew up in has long since been abandoned …till now.

Bayley, Seth and Amelia are distant relatives of Celina’s. Their family has been fractured due to their father’s sudden and accidental death. Mum is simply not coping, so they have left Sydney in the hope of saving Amelia from self-destruction. They have moved into Celina’s old home … and she appears to be haunting Bayley’s life. Is the past going to repeat itself?

There are some real gothic elements in this story, even though it is set in rural Australia in the heat of summer – the ghostly haunting seems to pervade the atmosphere – the hot summer silence of the Australian bush seems heavy with dread. Yet the book is realistic too: from the squabbling siblings to the credible characters of Oliver, Bob and Anne. A great combination: gripping and spooky as well as fast-paced with plenty of twists and turns in the plot. The last few chapters are particularly ‘edge-of-the-seat’ as we watch the action and mystery build to a climax.

Highly Recommended (Deb Marshall) *****

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