Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Sometimes I feel like I'm haunted by a children's writer--Mary
Downing Hahn. Every time I think I've read all her work a random
volume from the past pops up. I guess that would be quite fitting
since her forte is ghost stories that combine psychological insight
with chilling suspense.
Ali, protagonist of Deep and Dark and Dangeeous, is looking at
some of her mother's childhood books when she sees a picture of her
with her sister, her Aunt Dulcie, at their long abandoned family
summer house, Gull Cottage, in Maine. A third girl has been torn out
of the picture. Her mother becomes upset and denies that there was
ever another child.
Then Dulcie, an artist, decides to summer at Gull Cottage with
her very young daughter, Emma, even going to the expense of having the
house repaired and the boat house converted into a studio for her
work. She invites Ali to spend the summer with them as live in
babysitter. Despite her mother's strong objections, Ali agrees to the
The Maine weather, for the most part, is grey and stormy.
That's not all that's ominous. Ali learns about a friend of her mom
and aunt, Teresa, who died mysteriously thirty years ago. At the same
time a mysterious girl, Sissy, begins to visit Emma. One day Dulcie's
studio is trashed with a mysterious message left by the vandal: I'm
watching you. Tell the truth or else.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous or any of Hahn's other ghost stories
would make a delightful read for a mystery loving child...only not
late at night under the covers by flashlight.
On a personal note, I am still waiting to learn the results of the
school budget vote. Aaarrrggghhh! The suspense is driving me up a
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow school committee members
and our superintendent, incoming principal, and teachers and
families. May things work out for the best!
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod