Since she was twelve, Meriel Garland has lived with her grandfather in London, exiled from her beloved India following the death of her mother. Now sixteen, Meriel chafes against the strict regime of tests and study that her grandfather imposes on her. Escaping, she discovers a world outside her narrow existence – one that promises admiration for her acting skills, social success and the dark mysteries of séances. Disbelieving at first, she is drawn in when the young medium Sophie Casson passes on a message apparently from beyond the grave – and Meriel begins to suspect she might not be alone in the world after all. In searching for the truth about her past, Meriel uncovers a sinister scheme – and soon it’s hard to know who she can really trust . . .This is a well written, delightful if somewhat predictable young adult read. I say young adult though I would be happy to pass this to anyone ages nine or up. Its got a little bit of everything you'd expect in a historical based novel, a forbidden love match, the cold unfeeling father who forbade it, the child of that union, tragedy, school rooms, governesses, strict rules and daring adventures. It won't disappoint if you don't hold your expectations too high.
When I first picked it up, I thought it was a ghost story. However, it couldn't be further from a ghost story if it tried. Yes, there are parts about mediums and seances, but its a bare minimum to drive the plot forward to what is really going on in Meriel's world. I do give the author points for using a name that I hadn't heard of before - darned if I can pronounce it correctly - but its a pleasant name, even if the character is some what petulant and selfish during most of the book.
I can summarise my feeling about the book quite simply as, it's enough to make me read something else by the author but not to keep this book in my permanent collection.
I give it