Wednesday, March 27, 2013

THE TURNING by Francine Prose

Jack thinks he has found the perfect way to enjoy his summer and earn some decent money at the same time.  His girl friend's father arranged the deal which has Jack spending the summer on an island while he takes care of two young children.  He will be entertaining the kids and keeping an eye on them until the school year begins.

The two children, Flora and Miles, are orphans living with a housekeeper in an unusual house on an island owned by their uncle.  The uncle keeps his distance letting the housekeeper deal with most of the decisions involving the children. 

Jack quickly learns that the children are pleasant but rather odd.  They don't appear to have much interest in sports or outdoor activities, although, they are willing to participate in the games Jack suggests if only to humor him.  Once Jack learns how to navigate the huge house, he begins to enjoy himself.  The children like to explore, and many of their afternoons are spent wandering the island with a picnic lunch prepared by the housekeeper who is an excellent cook.

As the weeks pass strange things begin to happen.  On the ferry trip to the island, Jack chatted with several people who warned him about the island.  They suggested mysterious events and even the possibility of ghosts.  At the time he pushed the crazy stories aside as unimportant, but now they seem to be coming true.

Author Francine Prose has succeeded in creating a suspenseful thriller in THE TURNING.  Told through a series of letters from Jack to his girl friend and his father, THE TURNING will not only keep readers turning page but also keep them awake at night.

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