Andy's Reviews > Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
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Jan 13, 11

bookshelves: 2-star
Read in December, 2010

Hahn pens another creepy ghost story, complete with mean characters and a hauntingly sad tone. The story is set on a lake in Maine, at a family cottage that has gone unused for nearly 30 years. 13-year-old Ali is invited to accompany her Aunt Dulcie to the cottage for the summer to serve as a babysitter to her 4-year-old cousin Emma. Adding to the mystery is the strange behavior of Ali’s mom Claire. Not only is Claire reluctant to allow Ali to go to Maine, she hasn’t really spoken about the many summers she spent there as a child, and has given no indication as to why she and her sister suddenly stopped going there. When Ali finds a photograph set at the cottage—a picture of her mom, Dulcie, and someone else ripped out—her mom denies knowing anything at all about the missing figure. When in Maine, Dulcie spends her time making art for an upcoming exhibition, leaving Ali and Emma alone to explore. The girls meet a strange 10-year-old girl named Sissy who is mean and acts in a reckless and dangerous manner. Elements of foreshadowing reveal to the reader that Sissy is a ghost long before Ali or any of the other characters realize it. The cause of Sissy’s death, however, is revealed more slowly. In the end, the disturbance feels less like the fault of the ghost, and more like an unsettling consequence of the adult sisters having buried the deep and dark truth. Some secrets should never be kept.

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