Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Forevermore by Cindy Miles (Chicken House)
PB RRP $17.99
ISBN 978-1-908435-92-7
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Ivy's mum has remarried and her new family moves from Charleston, South Carolina, the only home Ivy has ever known, to the remote Scottish Highlands. Ivy’s new stepfather is a laird and lives in a huge castle, Glenmorrag, on the rugged coastline. Ivy is expecting her life to change, but what she is not expecting is a ghost. And falling in love with someone who lived two hundred years ago was certainly not in her plans.
Forevermore is a wonderfully gothic tale with all the classic elements from this genre. From the brooding crumbly castle perched on top of a cliff high above the sea, to the evil presence trying to harm Ivy, along with a mysterious but attractive ghost, a sinister grandmother and a feisty independent heroine.
Ivy is great character. She is independent, but doesn't reject help and friendship when it's offered and has a realistic mix of bravery and caution. She is unsure if people will think she's crazy if she talks about the ghosts at the castle so is wary of mentioning them while making an effort to fit in, both at home in the castle and at her new school where she feels very different.
The use of music (Ivy is a beautiful and dedicated violinist), helps to weave an uneasy atmosphere around the castle. In my head it is always twilight at Glenmorrag and bright and sunny away from the castle, such is the skill of the creation of this eerie presence wrapping itself around the castles inhabitants.
This is a suspenseful story of ghosts and love. The mystery element is gripping, but the greatest strength is in the characters and their relationships; first love, friendships and family bonds.
This in an absorbing book and would suit thirteen to fifteen year olds.

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