Miz Lizzie's Reviews > Tighter

Tighter by Adele Griffin
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's review
Jan 03, 2012

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bookshelves: ghosts, new-england, realistic-fiction, romance, summer-holidays, usa, young-adult, mental-illness, writing
Read on December 31, 2011

When seventeen-year-old Jamie Atkinson goes to the New England island of Little Bly to be an au pair for the summer, she takes a grab bag of pilfered prescription pills with her to gentle her depression and the presence of two family ghosts that haunt her. Though she enjoys Isa, her young charge, and starts a romance with local boy, Sebastian, Jamie becomes obsessed with the tragic death of last year's au pair and her boyfriend. The story is apparently based on Henry James' The Turning of the Screw. I probably would have had more appreciation for the subtleties if I had known the story but not knowing it meant that I was completely taken by surprise at the twist at the end. Reading the dialog of the lisping housekeeper was annoying (I had to constantly translate in my head). The author does a good job of keeping the story tightly in Jamie's slightly paranoid point of view but I found it hard to actually like Jamie. I probably would have enjoyed the intensity of the story more if I had not read it in one day while was battling a sick headache.

Book Pairings: Liar by Justine Larbalestier for the psychological drama and mental twists. Jane by April Lindner for another modern update of a classic story.

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