Pages - 132
Published by Fontana Lions in 1982
Challenges - Take Another Chance Challenge.
It was a summer of sudden thunder. The first storm came one Wednesday in July. Hot! It was the sort of day when the earth cracks, dogs run mad and even friends are best avoided. The sky which only half an hour ago had been a dry blue, now thickened with dark clouds. Soon it was going to rain very hard and anyone caught far from shelter would be soaked to the skin.
Poppy is a liar. She has always told lies and struggles to tell the truth, so why now would anyone believe her. Only she has seen the stone statue of Belladonna come to life and walk across the garden into the cellar. All the things Belladonna breaks are believed to be Poppy's fault and no one will believe it any other way.
Poppy locks Belladonna in the cellar, but she manages to escape, proceeding to find lots of other statues and bring them to life too. Poppy finally finds someone who believes her and Emma tries to help her reverse all the trouble caused.
I picked this one up for the Take Another Chance challenge as the first task required me to find my doppelganger; someone with the same name. Having a name like Vivienne, it isn't easy to find an author with a similar name; luckily I remembered reading The Haunting of Cassie Palmer last year, by Vivien Alcock, so I looked up her biography to find any other books she had written. One of my friends came to my rescue and happened to own this one, so I gave it a try.
I really enjoyed reading The Haunting of Cassie Palmer, but this book was a bit of a disappointment to me. I don't think it is necessarily the book's fault, I actually think my age is the problem. It is a children's book that doesn't really read well if you are an adult. Some books just don't cross over very well and this is one of them. I found the story very childish and also very dated.
I had no compassion for the main character Poppy, as from the start you are aware that all she does is tells lies, so it was impossible to warm to her. The way she spoke to the adults around her reminded me of the awful loudmouthed Tracy Beaker created by Jacqueline Wilson. She was even horrible to her new friend Emma, making me want to wash her mouth out with soap( my mother threatened me with that for years!).
There was a lack of description within the book, which left me feeling bored. The story should have been thrilling, instead it moved at snail speed, with an ending lacking any energy or belief.
I felt that the story could easily be revised and written for a young adult market, as I don't recall any books detailing statues coming to life.
I wondered if my children might enjoy it, but I really think the whole book would be too dated for them too. It had a real seventies feel to it. I had really wanted to enjoy it, but unfortunately it wasn't for me.
Another disappointing read within two days; don't you just hate that. Tomorrow I will review the book that saved my disappointing reading week. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt!