Saturday, July 7, 2012
Book Review: Beswitched
BESWITCHED by Kate Saunders is a very enjoyable read. Like Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, Flora Fox is accustomed to having her own way. When a family emergency forces her parents to take an extended trip to Italy, Flora is sent off to spend a term at Penrice, a progressive, child-centered boarding school. But something happens on the train. Instead of going to Penrice, Flora winds up at a different boarding school called St. Winifred's--in the year 1935.
Besides learning how things were done 75 years ago, Flora must adjust to her three roommates, nicknamed Pogo, Pete, and Dulcie. These girls are the only ones who know Flora came from the past. In fact, it's their fault--it seems they somehow summoned her while experimenting with a spell. Pete's personality is as strong as Flora's, which initially causes the two of them to butt heads. They eventually become close friends, until a disastrous conflict threatens to separate them for good. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, so I'll just say there's a twist at the end, and I didn't see it coming.
Beswitched has a lot of different covers. The hardback cover to the left, depicting a girl standing outside a gate with her face obscured, seems to me to suggest a more YA tone, perhaps a paranormal romance. The blue one above is the paperback cover--it's lively and appealing, but perhaps too cartoon-y for the tone of the novel, which was humorous at times, but not slapstick. The library copy I read featured the cover at the bottom, with the 1930s Flora staring into the mirror at her contemporary self.--and I think I like it the best of the bunch.
Check back on Monday for a review of MISSING ON SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN by Elise Broach!