Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Ally’s World series, Stella Etc series, Indie Kidd series, You, Me & Thing series, The OMG Blog, Catching Falling Stars and more!
Ellis is losing track of time…
After leaving her friends to move to a crumbling Scottish mansion, Ellis is overcome by anxiety and loneliness. Then she hears whispers in the walls…and finds herself whisked back in time to 1912.
At first, she feels like she's finally home. But the past may not be as perfect as it seems – and is there more to hope for in the present than she first thought?
Karen McCombie’s Ally’s World series was my very favourite series for a long time when I was an early teen so I jumped at the chance to revisit her books with The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall.
Ellis suffers from anxiety and her mum’s whirlwind romance with RJ, a rich and famous musician, and their move from their cosy London flat to a crumbling mansion in Scotland feels like a bit too much for her to handle. She's terrified of losing her mum to RJ, of being misplaced in this new little family and of the visions she has inside Wilderwood. Ellis’s anxiety was handled really well, I think. The way Ellis’s family slowly realise how all-consuming it is for her and gradually move from thinking it’ll just go away to eventually understanding that it’s something that she’ll need a little help with.
I really loved how the time slips were handled in The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall. Ellis’s trips back to 1912 feel organic and scratchy and there are no clear trigger or rules which was refreshing, and I loved the way the past mingled with the present. This became more and more fascinating as Ellis learned about the history of the great house. It was also cool to watch the friendship that developed between Ellis and Flora the housemaid as they both navigated life in Wilderwood Hall, I especially liked the dramatic revelations at the end!
But my favourite element of this book was the family dynamics. The joining of families always causes tension and I think every feeling of Ellis and Weezy’s (RJ’s daughter) felt spot on, whether it be jealousy, fear, closing yourself off, betrayal – everything. Most of all, though, I loved that this new, ramshackle family unit ended up being a happy one.
The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall is a touching and engaging story about family and new beginnings and I loved it.
Thanks to Scholastic and Faye Rogers PR for the review copy.