Young Alex, the laird of Carra, is forced to sell his ancient and dilapidated Scottish castle to an American millionaire. Poor Alex is heartbroken to be leaving his ancestral home, but worst of all is the parting with his ghostly friends who haunt the Castle of Carra. When the millionaire tears down the castle and transplants it in Texas where his ailing daughter, Helen, can enjoy it, the ghosts accompany the ancient stones of their home, and uncover an evil plot to kidnap Helen. The good ghosts befriend a mysterious phantom hand, and rely on Alex to help save poor Helen from her kidnappers!
This has all the charm and silliness that I’ve come to love in Ibbotson’s books! The writing is fresh with a whimsical story-telling style. I love how weird and wacky the characters are, and how every detail about them carries weight in the story. The plot is full of preposterous surprises and plenty of action.
One of the best things about Ibbotson’s writing is how she takes ordinary things and turns them upside down to the astonishment of the reader.
Orphan Maia is sent to meet her distant relatives on the Amazon River. Along with Miss Minton, the strict-but-fair governess, Maia explores the enchanting world of the rainforest and river, delighted with the exotic plants and animals. But her relatives are only interested in Maia’s fortune, and they make her miserable until she finds friends among the native people. A mysterious boy hides in the forest, an out-of-work actor begs for Maia’s help, and Miss Minton is keeping dangerous secrets of her own.
Wonderfully imaginative and descriptive! Made me feel like I was right there in the rain forest. I was laughing and gasping and crying and laughing again all through it! Marvelous book! The complex plot is a wonderful mixture of adventure, travel, mystery, and intrigue.
Maia’s character is delightful. She’s spunky and courageous, kind and sweet, everything a heroine should be.
I adore Finn’s character! He’s mysterious and thoroughly interesting.
Miss Minton makes me laugh; she’s such a complicated lady, and so very deliberate in everything. Nothing could be better!