Friday, November 30, 2018

The Aviary - Kathleen O'Dell

Summary: Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she's confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it's a comfortable life, and if it weren't for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one too.

But once old Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara comes to learn many dark secrets about the family. The Glendoveers suffered a horrific tragedy: their children were kidnapped, then drowned. And their father George Glendoveer, a famous magician and illusionist, stood accused until his death. As Clara digs deeper and deeper into the terrifying events, the five birds in the aviary seem to be trying to tell her something. And Clara comes to wonder: what is their true identity? Clara sets out to solve a decades-old murder mystery—and in doing so, unlocks a secret in her own life, too. Kathleen O'Dell deftly weaves magic, secret identities, evil villians, unlikely heroes, and the wonder of friendship into a mystery adventure with all the charm of an old fashioned classic. (summary and picture from

My Review: I like myself a good spooky story.  Add in a curse, clever kids, and a spooky atmosphere and you've got it made.

This book was a lot of fun to read.  Our main character, Clara, is both cool and resilient, despite how she's been raised her entire life.  She is determined, kind, and has a lot of grit.  I also enjoyed how this book was in a historical setting.  I think that always lends itself well to spooky, haunted things.

Clara's friend (her first one ever) was also a fun addition, and I really liked her dramatic way of talking, and how she was able to help aid Clara as they discover the dark history of Clara's house, and the strange birds in the aviary out back.

What I always love about stories like this is when the kids solve the problems.  Magic and the like are always better seen by children, and they are more apt to believe.  So while the adults eventually come round, I love how we get characters like Clara who are able to unravel mysteries and curses, and then go to great lengths despite their inhibitions and shortcomings to try and mend everything.  I love that growth.

I liked the gentle flow of the story, how the events unraveled, and how we discover the curse.  As far as scary stories go, it's a slow burn, which I rather like.  It's also rather tame as far as scary stories go, so if you're hoping for jump scares, it won't be this book.  Overall, this one's more of a mystery, but well worth it.

My Rating: 4 Stars
For the sensitive reader: the story involves the kidnapping and death of children.  There is also an intense scene at the end with someone intent to do Clara harm.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails