by Ann Haines
Publication Date: July 6, 2012
Formats Available: eBook ~155 pages
When Mary leaves her home in London she does it in silence. Moving to Bell House seems like the perfect fresh start for the Pendleton family, even if Mary isn't quite on board. But when things start to fall in to place, she finds that life in the village of Eires Green is better than she'd hoped. Her new friends are a breath of fresh air and Zach is the most gorgeous and charming boy she has ever met.
When she finds old photographs in her attic she is captivated by the age and history of Bell House and a strange feeling of familiarity sets in. She feels the same way about her kooky friend Peggy who seems drawn to Mary's Grandmother and far from happy about her feelings for Zach. But soon Mary is faced with the fact that Bell House has an even more dark and tragic past than her own.
Now Mary Pendleton is about to find out that running from your past is not an easy thing. Even if the past you're running from doesn't belong to you. -from Goodreads
After getting into trouble in London, Mary and her family move to the small town of Eires Green for a fresh start. Mary is not happy about the move but once she moves into the Bell House, she finds she is oddly comfortable. Straight away she makes friends and might have a new love interest; life seems to be looking up since “the Incident”. That is until she starts to discover that the Bell House holds a secret, one that might just kill her. A tragedy, a mirror and a name repeated three times…
I have to say I was really glad I read this novella during the day. I have not read a book that truly scared me in a long time. This isn’t a typical ghost story, it isn’t one you would tell around a campfire or at a slumber party; Mary is spooky and complex. Based off the Bloody Mary urban legend, Mary is a story that explores the bonds of family and the measures one will take to exact revenge. Ann Haines’ writing takes the reader right into the eerie setting of the English countryside. Small pieces of the puzzle are revealed throughout the story alluding to the full picture, creating a slow stream of suspense that bursts at the end.
I did figure out part of the mystery on my own, but the twists kept on coming. I liked the fact that this was a novella, though the relationships could have been more natural. However, there are so many layers that it would be impossible for a short story to explain every detail and as a full length novel I think the rush I felt when reading wouldn’t have been as exciting. I enjoyed reading Mary and would recommend to anyone who likes to feel goose bumps run up and down their spine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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