Thursday, November 10, 2016
Greenglass House, by Kate Milford (Laura)
From the first pages, the writing, the world, and Milo and his parents pulled me under the spell of the book. Right away, the setting establishes a cozy yet mysterious tone, and then when the real mysteries begin to crop up and compound, they entranced me further and made me wonder what was going on, what strange event would happen next, and what it all meant--from the stolen items themselves to the creaking floorboards of the house at night, unexplainably moved furniture, items turning up in odd locations, Chinese symbols marking specific objects, and the peculiarities of each of the guests and their stories.
The house itself is intricately detailed and fascinating, and I loved exploring it with Milo and Meddy. One of my favorite elements of the house is the staircase. On every landing is a stained glass window, each one with different shades and colors and each one with the image of a gate hidden within it that Milo discovers is a clue to the house's history. Milo and Meddy spend many heart-stopping moments on the staircase, climbing to the attic to investigate for clues, hiding from sneaking guests, escaping traps, and overhearing puzzling conversations. In contrast, I also loved the coziness of the main floor with its fireplace, Christmas tree, and kitchen, where Milo's family and the guests often come together and share stories, meals, and hot cocoa and also bicker, scramble with candles during a blackout, and even cheer each other up in the most unlikely of ways.
At first, the ending left me just a little disappointed with a few of the elements used to explain certain mysteries, though it was also intriguing and satisfying in many ways. This is a fun one to read a second time to pick up on all the sneaky clues the author leaves throughout the story to support the ending. I would also say that reading it the second time--already knowing the end, rather than having expectations--allowed me to appreciate the outcome more and how everything built up to it. A very sweet story with just the right amount of eeriness. Very beautiful, exciting, yet meaningful read. It would be especially fun to enjoy during the holidays.
What are your favorite mystery stories?
Greenglass House: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grenglass-house-kate-milford/1116226322