Mini-series of young adult novels by Ann Brashares
Author: Elysabeth Eldering
Uprooting a teenager just when things are starting to look up for her can be traumatic, upsetting and definitely not endear you to your teenage child. Kelly Watson is not happy about moving to a new town leaving her newly found crush and her chance for social advancement. Just when Kelly is going to get the starring role in her school play she has to move. Not only that but she left her best friend since first grade and now her father’s company has moved them to a new town in South Carolina. Her father has a rather interesting job as he assesses homes and property and if the house needs to be removed so they can build structures to boost the economy. Kelly loved old buildings and the history attached to them fascinated her.
As Kelly was getting out of the car and about to enter her new house someone came up to greet her. Emma lived next door and seemed to want to become what some might call instant or fast friends. Kelly being preoccupied with setting up her room to her very own perfection and Emma just wanting to be helpful, neither girl really focused on what the other was interested in nor did Kelly really want or need a friend at that minute. But, Emma was persistent and Kelly decided to enlist her help in a different way. Rather than be rude and tell her what she was really thinking, to get lost, she had her listen to her father create tunes and songs on the piano and hopefully respond in the right places helping him write a new song. Her mother as she referred to her was Miss Prim and Proper and expected everyone to act accordingly. Kelly just wanted to recreate the perfect room, get rid of Emma until she was done and then learn more about the house across the street that seem to consume much of her attention and her thoughts. Emma, being bored and a fountain of information, had no friends, no chores to be done and was more than happy to enlighten her about some of the facts surrounding the house but not all. What was she hiding and why didn’t she want to tell Kelly everything about the house remains to be seen? Was it haunted or did something happen there that she does not want anyone to know?
Annaliese McLane’s house held a special allure for Kelly. Drawn to the house like a magnet for some reason she needed to explore the inside and see what made it so special. Speaking to her best friend. Judy, online, they were both able to recreate the image of the house in their mind and help Judy picture the structure even though she was blind. The house seemed to emanate a spooky and eerie persona of its own. Emma, her new neighbor served as her own personal guide and information directory of the neighborhood and much more.
Kelly and Emma are totally polar opposites. Emma is more energetic, outgoing and sharing information not only about herself but Kelly’s family too. Just how she learned this information still remains to be revealed by the author and the narrator that guides us inside the minds and inner thoughts of each character. Each time the narrator allows the reader to hear the thoughts of the character we hear their true feelings, thoughts and reactions to that of the person they are with at that minute.
Kelly isdetermined to find out more about the house and she insists on doing some research as the library. Spending time there she was able to find out a lot about the house and hoped it was not on her father’s list to be taken down and replaced by a newer structure. Emma on the other hand gave Kelly and her mother some unsettling information about Kelly and her father’s past that would make anyone feel uncomfortable about being around her and wonder just what her connection to the house might have been and much more that Emma has yet to reveal.
Kelly was hoping to attend the town meeting but was waiting for him on the steps and realized from the expression on his face and his posture that the house was on the list to be torn down. But, will her father go along with her and try to help save it? The one thing that disturbs both of them is that the house she is investigating and interested in is on the list to be torn down.
What I really love is that although Kelly’s parents are strict in their own way with her and remind her of her manners, how to treat a new friend and being understanding of the differences of others she responds in a way that most teens do not. She is respectful, intelligent, speaks her mind and realizes that her parents just wanther to be the best that she can and she understands that. Her father ismore relaxed than her mother who is definitely more rigid. Her father loves to write songs about her and her mother who loves to shop, create special meals and adhere to her own private agenda each day including teaching English at the local middle school.
Emma seems to fit in wherever she goes and even though her grammar and mode of speech might be poor you have to love Emma and her willingness to help and just be part of a family or group. But, the one thing that does stand out is their trip the library does tell you something about Emma considering what the author shared as her reading material.
Kelly and Emma begin to explore the world of witchcraft through books, online information and whatever Emma cares to share about herself as she claims to be a witch too and feels Kelly has powers that still need to be developed. Researching the many books and listening to Emma, Kelly learns more about the history behind the house, what she might learn about herself and her family too. Kelly’s father even writes a song about Emma and you get the feeling that either Emma is doing this to get attention and feel part of a family or she really thinks or is a witch trained by the lady who owned the house.
What Kelly finally experiences while in the house all of the pieces will fit together. Just what they are you will have to learn for yourself. Where does herfather really belong and what is the history behind the house that she hopes will save it? Find out whether you are a young YA or adult that wants to learn who is really Finally Home. This is a great story that teaches, friendship, respect, loyalty and understanding and the true meaning of family. Author Elysabeth Eldering has created two characters that can definitely team up again and solve more mysteries in the future. Finally Home is a really great novel for young adults and teens to read.
Let's give this book: FIVE SPECIAL DREAMS
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
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